Published on : 02/13/2020 – 17:56Modified : 02/13/2020 – 17:56
Less than nine months after the fiasco of the final of the African Champions League, the African Super Cup is a major issue for the African Football Confederation (CAF). A new odd, Friday evening, would constitute a snub for the instance, whose credibility has already been severely damaged.
After its fiasco in the African Champions League, the African Confederation (CAF) has an image to smooth, Friday, February 14, during its Super Cup organized in Doha (Qatar) between Esperance Tunis and the Egyptian club Zamalek (17 h, Paris time), a meeting nevertheless caught up by tensions.
A few months ago, the Tunisian club was not guaranteed to play this match which opposes every year, in a single meeting, the winner of the African Champions League and that of the Confederation Cup (second continental level).
Because to know the name of the winner of the African C1, it was necessary to wait for a long soap opera from May to August 2019: the Arbitral Tribunal for Sport (CAS) agreed with Esperance after a controversial final return in late May , sanctioning the Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca for having left the lawn in protest against a breakdown of assistance to video arbitration (VAR), which could have validated a goal denied by the referee.
This legal battle has further tarnished the image of CAF and its controversial president Ahmad Ahmad, targeted by suspicions of corruption. Following this scandal, the N.2 of Fifa Fatma Samoura took the head of a six-month mission mandated to supervise the African organization, shaken by these controversies and governance problems.
Suffice to say that CAF is in dire need of a return to normalcy on Friday, while Fatma Samoura’s mission was not renewed on February 2. But since last year, the CAF Supercup, created in 1993, has been played in Doha. And geopolitical tensions in the Middle East between Qatar and Egypt have caught up with the meeting in recent days.
Zamalek president Mortada Mansour has warned his players that they will play Friday “in a hostile country” in Doha. The Cairo club first announced that it would boycott the match, with Egypt being one of four countries to impose an economic boycott on Qatar due to the emirate’s support for Iran and radical Islamist groups, what Doha denies.
Zamalek finally decided to participate, but Mortada Mansour proposed that the players put on training shirts with the image of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the words “Long live Egypt” and the national flag.
Anyway, 20,000 supporters are expected for the meeting between these two giants of African football: the Tunisian “Sang et Or” have already won this Super Cup once, the “White Knights” of Zamalek won it three times.