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VAR to be used in CAF Champions League final

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Video assistant referees ( VAR ) will be used in the CAF Champions League final for the first time on Friday when Al Ahly of Egypt host Esperance of Tunisia in the first leg .
The system allows off-field referees to assist match officials regarding goals , penalty and straight red card decisions, and mistaken identity when awarding red and yellow cards .

VAR has been used once before in Africa , for the 2018 CAF Super Cup match between Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo .

While VAR has been both lauded and loathed by footballers and officials , its use at the World Cup in Russia this year was considered “largely successful” by FIFA .

“We used it for the Super Cup last February without any hitches and are delighted to go a step further , ” CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy said.

“This is another historic moment for African football. CAF is determined to use the latest innovative technologies available. ”

Record eight -time champions Ahly and twice trophy -holders Esperance have met 16 times at various stages of the Champions League , starting with two goalless 1990 qualifiers .

The most controversial refereeing decision came in a 2010 semi- final when Nigerian Michael Eneramo clearly handled when scoring the goal that won the tie for Esperance .

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It was scant consolation to Ahly that the Ghanaian referee who allowed the goal to stand in Tunisia was banned .

Ahly and Esperance go into the two – leg title decider — the second leg is on November 9 in Tunisia — knowing a great deal about each other having also met in the group stage .

After a 0 -0 draw in Egypt , Ahly won the return match 1 -0 through a goal from Morocco -born Walid Azaro , one of six he netted in the Champions League this season .

Anice Badri of Esperance has scored one more with his seventh coming five minutes from time to secure overall victory in a dramatic semi- final against Primeiro Agosto of Angola .

Other potential match -winners in Alexandria and Rades include Haythem Jouini of Esperance , who has come off the bench to score vital goals .

( AFP )

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