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African Super Cup postponed from mid-August as CAF champions league controversey evolves

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Aug 2019
File Photo: Wydad players ask the referee Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama (C) to check the goal, which was denied by the linesman before finding out the Video assistant referee (VAR) system did not work and the match was interrupted during the 2nd leg of CAF champion league final 2019 football match between Tunisia's Esperance sportive de Tunis and Morocco's Wydad Athletic Club at the Olympic stadium in Rades on May 31, 2019 (Photo: AFP)
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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced late Wednesday that they will be postponing the African Super Cup match, which was scheduled for mid-August, to a later date.

"Due to the unforeseen conditions that caused the delay of the announcement of the winner of CAF Champions League 2018-2019, and due to the short period that separates us from the Super Cup initially scheduled on 16, 17, or 18 August 2019; it has been decided that the match will be postponed to a later date," read a statement released late on Wednesday.

The 2019 CAF Super Cup was scheduled to be played between the African Champions League winner against the CAF Confederation Cup and Egypt's Zamalek, who won the   on May.

CAF's Wednesday decision comes as the controversy over deciding the outcome of the African Champions League winner among Morocco's Wydad Athletic and Esperance of Tunisia continues.

Earlier on Wednesday, the cofedertation had declared Esperance earlier on Wednesday the 2019 African Champions after the CAF disciplinary board ruled that Wydad de Casablanca lost the final.

Later yesterday, the Moroccan side decided to appeal CAF's decision.

The controversey erupted in late May  during the second leg of the African Championship  final between the Moroccan and the Tunisian sides in Tunisia when the referee ended the match with 30 minutes to go after Wydad refused the continue the match as they objected to the malfunctionioning of the VAR system.

During the game, The Tunisian side Esperance were keeping a tight lead with 30 minutes left on the clock, when Wydad had an equalizer disallowed, leading to a crisis. Wydad demanded the decision be referred to VAR (video assistant referee), but the referee insisted the system was down. This prompted the Moroccan team stormed off the pitch in protest.

After a 90-minute delay, CAF officials declared Esperance the champions, handing the Tunisian players medals and the trophy, but not the $2.5 million (2.24 mn euros) prize.

Following a Wydad appeal of the CAF move at the game, CAF officials later ordered the second leg to be replayed at a neutral venue.

At this point, both clubs lodged appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which decided to overrule the CAF decision concerning the match replay, stipulating that the CAF executive committee "did not have jurisdiction" to order the final be replayed.

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