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Wydad To Challenge CAF’s Decision, Again

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Wydad Casablanca has wasted no time in announcing their intention to challenge, Wednesday’s decision to award the African Champions League to Esperance of Tunisia.
WAC President Said Naciri said they would appeal the verdict of the Confederation of African Football’s Disciplinary Committee, who on Wednesday ruled Esperance winners of the disputed final.
The CAF regulations allow the Moroccans the right to appeal and Naciri said straight away he would lodge papers, although he was not clear on what grounds.
Wydad already submitted two separate arguments to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) last week when they asked the Swiss-based body to either award them the title outright or order that the two legs of the final be annulled and a single replay be ordered.
CAS rejected both Wydad’s positions last week when it ordered CAF to re-hear the matter.
CAF had originally awarded the game to Esperance after Wydad refused to play on after having a 59th minute strike in the second leg in Tunis ruled offside. The absence of VAR, which was faulty, led to vehement protests and a stubborn refusal by the Moroccans to continue.
After a two-hour delay, Esperance were handed the trophy while Wydad refused to accept their silver medals.
But five days after the final, the CAF Executive Committee made an extraordinary decision to order a replay of the final on neutral territory citing “security concerns”.
It was a decision greeted with much derision as critics accused the exco of pandering to the heavy Moroccan influence with CAF’s power structures.
Both clubs immediately turned to CAS for relief. It annulled the decision of CAF’s Executive Committee, saying it should rather be dealt with by the “competent committee”.
The DC took a week to convene and sat in Cairo on Wednesday, quickly coming to a verdict. It decided:
“The Wydad Athletic Club is considered to have lost the game in the final second leg, a fine of $50,000 is imposed on the club for the abandonment of the match and a fine of $15,000 is imposed for the use of flares by the supporters.
“Mohamed Meddeb, president of Esperance has been fined $20,000 as well as receiving a warning for his unsporting behaviour toward the president of CAF.
“Esperance fined $50,000 USD for the use of smoke and projectiles and the unsporting behavior of their supporters. Esperance will play their next two home interclub matches behind closed doors for the excessive use of smoke and firecrackers. However the Disciplinary Board has decided to suspend the sanction in question provided that the club is not found guilty of a similar offence for the next 12 months.

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I’ll Be Most Excited If I Win AFCON – Rohr

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Super Eagles’ head coach Gernot Rohr last Wednesday, said winning the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for Nigeria would make him the most excited person.
Rohr who spoke at a post-match conference in Uyo after his team came from behind to defeat the Squirrels of Benin Republic 2-1 said winning AFCON 2021 was a huge desire.
“It will be exciting for me to win the 2021 AFCON title with Nigeria. That’s my desire and I will be the most excited.
“So, winning today (Wednesday) is just the beginning. I can’t be excited until we win the title in 2021,” he said.
Tidesports source reports that the Nigeria versus Benin game was a 2021 AFCON Qualifier and it took place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
Rohr, who said Benin Republic have a good team, also noted that the Nigerian side had a good game in the second half.
“The Super Eagles had a lot of scoring opportunities, but they failed to convert all of them,” he said.
He however pointed out that the game’s opening goal, scored by the Squirrels’ captain, Stephane Sessegnon, in the match’s second minute, was a big shock.
He said: “In the second half, we played a very good match, ‘one-touch two-touch’, and we have good wingers. We had a lot of opportunities, and with the changes we made, we did very well. It is good for us.”
Rohr also said he could not use home-based players for now in the Nigerian team due to specific reasons
“At the moment, the quality we have from  abroad is higher than what we have in the home league (Nigeria Professional Football League),” he said.
Speaking also, the Super Eagles’ team captain, Ahmed Musa, said the match was “a tough game for our team, even though we won.’’
He added that the Nigerian side gave their best to prevail over the visitors.
On his part, the Head Coach of Benin, Michelle Dussuyer, noted that his team played very well in the first half.
He however pointed out that the 45th minute penalty kick his team conceded gave more confidence to the Super Eagles.
Also, Sessegnon acknowledged that while the game was not a bad one for his team, the Nigerian side played better.
NAN reports that in the game the Squirrels drew  the first blood, while the Super Eagles, through Victor Osimhen, equalised from the penalty kick spot in the 45th minute.
Although Nigeria had several scoring chances thwarted by the Benin goalkeeper in the second half, the winning goal came in the 62nd minute through a solo effort by Samuel Kalu.
Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze and Ola Aina also shone for Nigeria in the match where the Super Eagles confined the Squirrels to their own half throughout the second half.

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Enyimba’s Keeper Optimistic Despite Tough Draw

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Enyimba goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai has stated that he is optimistic things will work out well in favour of Enyimba after the team got drawn alongside North African opposition, Hassania Agadir of Morocco, Paradou of Algeria and San Pedro of Ivory Coast.
Afelokhai speaking in a chat with Tidesports source said all Enyimba needs to do is to double their effort in all spheres, plan and work hard and believes The Peoples Elephants will not fall short of qualifying out of the group.
“The fact is that it’s a tough group but the  draw will favour Enyimba and for God to have us drawn into this group that means he has a better plan for us to qualify out of the group to make the quarter final.
“All we just need to do is to double our efforts, work hard and for the management to do the right thing.”

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AFCON Qualifier: Coach Tips Eagles For Victory Against Lesotho

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The head coach of Real Madrid Football Academy in Rivers State, Sunny Iseokwehma, has said that Super Eagles of Nigeria have the capacity to win Lesotho in the match day two of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations  (AFCONS) qualifiers
He stated that presently Super Eagles players are on top form and physically fit to win any team.
Iseokwehma said this in a telephone interview with Tidesports yesterday just after Eagles defeated Benin Republic 2-1 at Godswil Akpabio international stadium, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
According to him, there is no country that can beat the Eagles easily, adding  that the quality of players in the team  have the potentials to win any country.
“ All our players are doing well now in their different club sides so I expect them to do the same for their country. Losotho is not a threat  to Nigeria in football,” he said.
He commended the Eagles for coming from behind  to win its opponents.
Super Eagles is currently on top of their group after 2-1 win over Benin Squirrel on Wednesday.

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