Johannesburg - The CAF Champions League final could be thrown into disarray after finalists Al Ahly lodged an official complaint to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) about the match venue.
On Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that the Champions League final between holders Al Ahly, coached by South African Pitso Mosimane, and Wydad Casablanca will be hosted at a “neutral” Stade Mohammed V on Monday, May 30.
But contrary to the match being hosted at a neutral venue on paper, that’s further from the truth in reality given that Mohammed V is the home ground of Wydad, hence they are posed for an advantage.
Albeit initially stating that they’ll play at any designated venue after reaching their third successive final following initial rumours that the final would return to Mohammed V for a second year running, Ahly changed their tone.
On Tuesday night, they took to their social media platforms to confirm that they’ve written to CaS about their dispute of defending their crown at neighbours Morocco.
“Al Ahly SC’s legal team on Tuesday submitted the club’s complaint to CaS against CAF’s unfair decision over the CAF Champions League final venue,” the statement read.
“CAF decided to hold the game in the same venue for the second consecutive season, giving one team the home advantage in the final.
🚨🚨 Al Ahly submits its official complaint to CAS. 🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/8nEE3hP3Wb— Al Ahly SC 🇬🇧 (@AlAhlyEnglish) May 17, 2022
“The legal team submitted all the documents and paid the required fees. The legal team highlighted the club’s demands of either holding the game in a neutral venue or postponing the game until CaS determines the case.”
However, soon after informing the masses about their complaint to CaS, Ahly appeared to have succumbed to CAF’s announcement, writing to the mother body about their six urgent requests on the Champions League final venue.
Ahly wants 50% capacity of the stadium to be allocated to the club and their fans, while everyone involved, including the players, should be guaranteed safety.
They also require the quick facilitation of Visas for Al Ahly fans, while a top referee and European referees to monitor the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system should be appointed for the match.