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VAR Malfunction Turns African Champions League Final Into Protracted Shitshow

Photo: Anadolu Agency (Getty)

After a five-day controversy that included fans protesting in the streets, the Confederation of African Football executive committee decided Wednesday that the second leg of the African Champions League final will be replayed, the Associated Press reports.

Friday’s final between Tunisian side Esperance and Moroccan side Wydad Casblanca was abandoned when VAR was unavailable to review an equalizing goal by Wydad Casablanca that had been disallowed. Wydad scored in the 60th minute to even the score, but it was ruled out because of an offside call. The call could have been reviewed, but the VAR system reportedly wasn’t working, something the officials were aware of but not the players. The Moroccan team walked off the field in protest and refused to restart the game. An hour later, Tunisian side Esperance was awarded the victory. The players even received the trophy and their medals.

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The CAF has spent the last few days deliberating over whether the game should be replayed. While they did that, Esperance fans protested outside of the federation’s meeting in Paris.

Today finally brought a conclusion: the match will be replayed, but not until the African Cup of Nations concludes in mid-July, and not in Tunisia. The announcement was not received well, particularly by members of the Tunisian press:

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Hopefully VAR will be up and working by the time the do-over match is played. Or, even better, out of commission for good.

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