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Controversy in African football: Why the 2019 Champions League final highlights fundamental concerns over due process at CAF

Football Pitch and TV Camera
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 By Chris Bond, Farai Razano

You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.

Carl Gustav Jung

This article reviews the events arising out of the 2019 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions’ League Final between Espérance de Tunis (Espérance) and Wydad Athletic Club Casablanca (Wydad), which began when Wydad left the pitch following a disallowed goal that the referee declined (or was unable) to review using VAR technology.

The incidents and decisions that followed raise a number of issues worthy of analysis. The question of what exactly happened to the VAR system (and what the regulations state should happen if the system is not operational) is intriguing. However, this piece instead focuses on broader concerns over the decision-making processes that followed the debacle, which cast a critical light on the federation’s commitments to due process and proper separation of powers.

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Written by

Chris Bond

Chris Bond


Chris is the Editor at LawInSport, and takes responsibility for the review of content in conjunction with the Editorial Board. Prior to joining LawInSport, Chris graduated from Nottingham University, and trained and worked as a litigation lawyer at King & Wood & Mallesons SJ Berwin.

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Farai Razano

Farai Razano

Partner, Razano Attorneys

Farai a Partner at Razano Attorneys. His practice focuses on sports law and entertainment law. He has acted for individual athletes, football clubs, sports associations, and several clients in the film and television industry. Farai has advised and acted for various clients before national and international specialist dispute resolution tribunals. He has also acted as a Prosecutor for the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport and Boxing South Africa.

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