Ethiopia’s high-profile referee Tessema to officiate Ahly v Wydad Champions League final

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 25 May 2023

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday that Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema will officiate the second leg game of the Champions League final between Morocco’s Wydad and Egypt’s Ahly.

Bamlak Tessema
Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema. AFP


Wydad will host Ahly in the second leg of the final on 11 June at Stade Mohammed V, while the first leg will be officiated by Libyan referee Ibrahim Mutaz on 4 June at Cairo International Stadium.

Tessema, who has officiated 38 games in the CAF Champions League since his debut in the 2012/13 season, will take charge of the high-pressure game.

The 43-year old referee has officiated two Champions League finals in his career and Ahly ended on the losing side on both occasions.

Tessema officiated the first leg of the 2017 final in Cairo and the Red Devils were held by Wydad to a 1-1 draw before eventually losing the title in Morocco after a 1-0 defeat.

He was also in charge of the return leg of the 2018 which Ahly lost 3-0 in Tunisia to hand Esperance of Tunisia the title following a 4-3 win on aggregate.

Tessema officiated ten Champions League games for Ahly and four games for Wydad.

He also made three appearances in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where he officiated Spain’s 1-0 win over Australia, Brazil’s 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia, and Mexico’s 3-1 win over hosts Japan.

Ahly booked their place in the 2023 Champions League final after beating Tunisia's Esperance 4-0 on aggregate, while Wydad made it on the away goal rule after drawing 2-2 with South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns.

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