KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Esperance of Tunis have been declared African Champions League winners after the continental confederation saw sense and stopped trying to cosy up to Moroccan football powerbrokers.
Players from Wydad of Casablanca walked off the pitch after an equaliser they scored midway through the second half of the second leg was disallowed by the referee after a VAR check. Esperance were leading 1-0 at the time and 2-1 overall after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Morocco.
The executive committee of CAF, headed by controversial president Ahmad Ahmad, pressed hard by the Moroccan federation, circumvented the disciplinary and competitions committees and ordered a replay.
Both clubs then appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which effectively rapped CAF over the knuckles for not following its own procedures.
The disciplinary committee has now fined Wydad $50,000 for abandoning the match and a further $15,000 for the use of flares by supporters during the game in Tunis on May 31.
Wydad were thus found to have lost the second leg, confirming Esperance as champions and qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar in December.
Esperance were fined $50,000 for use of flares and the throwing of missiles by their supporters.
They were also ordered to play their next two matches behind closed doors for excessive use of smoke and firecrackers, though that punishment has been suspended for 12 months provided they do not commit a similar offence in that time.
Esperance president Mohamed Meddeb was fined $20,000 (£16,400) and given an official warning for unsporting behaviour towards CAF president Ahmad.