OPINION: CAF step into the land of the ludicrous with Champions League venue decision
Is there not another stadium, in the whole of Africa, that could host this match?
CAF have decided to award the Champions League final to one of the finalists, with the game being played on Monday at Wydad Casablanca’s Stade Mohammed V stadium. Picture: Fareed Kotb/Backpagepix.
South Africa (sort of) takes on Morocco over two weekends in the Confederation of African Football competitions, although the term ‘weekend’ is a bit of stretch when you consider the Confederation Cup final is on Friday and the Champions League is on a Monday.
It’s a bit strange that CAF would pick these days for their two premier club finals – what happened to good old Saturday and Sunday? – though one supposes they have their reasons.
What is certainly far more bizarre is that Caf have decided to play the Caf Champions League final between Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca at the home ground of the latter, the Stade Mohammed V.
Ahly, the South African ‘sort of’ from above, Egyptian giants who have Pitso Mosimane as their head coach and Percy Tau as one of their star performers, have written to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an attempt to get the game postponed, so incensed are they by this decision, and they have a point.
It is all very well if an association names the final venue before a tournament kicks off, and the team that makes it to the final happens to be playing on home soil. This happened in 2012, for example, when Chelsea had to take on Bayern Munich on their own patch, not that it helped the German powerhouse.
CAF, however, named their final venue when the competition was down to four teams, one of which was Wydad. This is the kind of ludicrous nonsense that is only likely to cause controversy. Is there not another stadium, in the whole of Africa, that could host this match?
At least Orlando Pirates, firmly of South Africa, and RS Berkane, certainly from Morocco, do not have this problem as they prepare to face of in the Confederation Cup final on Friday in Uyo, Nigeria. Pirates have a fantastic chance to bring home a first piece of continental silverware since 1995, when they won the Champions League. Since then, the Bucs have finished as runners up in the final of the 2013 Champions League and the 2015 Confederation Cup.
Now is the time to step across the winners line again