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Sports News of Friday, 9 November 2018


CAF sends high-powered delegation for tempestuous final between Esperance and Ahly

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unleashed its top officials to supervise the highly-charged Champions League final second leg clash between Esperance and Al Ahly in Tunisia on Friday.

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad is leading the delegation for the match of top officials to ensure a perfect organisation after a drama-filled build-up to the second leg of the clash.

The leader of Africa's football governing body wants to ensure that incidents that could mar the beauty of the highly-anticipated natch are completely avoided.

As such some of the top officers of CAF like Anthony Baffoe, the highly experienced FIFA General Coordinator has been pencilled to work to ensure a perfect game.

Nigerian Samson Adamu, Director of Competitions at CAF has also arrived in Tunisia as well match coordinators Russell Final, his Moroccan assistants Mustapha Salaoui and Khaled Nassar as well as Aliou Goloko of Senegal as the Media Officer for the game.

Egypt’s Al Ahly are clear favourites to extend their record streak of African club competition titles when they take a 3-1 lead over Esperance.

Al Ahly has won an unprecedented eight Champions League titles and long been regarded as the continent’s best team, while Esperance has triumphed twice and been runners-up four times, including in 2012 when Al Ahly won 3-2 on aggregate.

However, the Cairo side’s win in the opener in Alexandria last Friday was clouded by controversial refereeing and the gamesmanship that has seen Al Ahly’s leading striker Walid Azaro banned and created a heated atmosphere ahead of the return.

The Moroccan-born striker was handed a two-match ban by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday for unsporting behaviour after being caught on camera tearing at his shirt and then trying to persuade the referee he was grabbed.

But Al Ahly benefited from poor officiating by Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Charef, who has since been suspended by CAF while an investigation into his performance has been launched.

He gave Al Ahly two penalties, one of which looked doubtful but was awarded after the use of VAR.