Katondwaci Marvin

Record winners Al Ahly of Egypt who are record winners and have been in all finals since 2005 will not be taking part in the final coming October 31st. TP Mazembe from the Democratic republic of Congo will look to retain the title they won last year after they beat Heartland of Nigeria on the away goals rule after the two legged a fair ended in a 2-2 draw. Tp Mazembe lost the 1st leg: 1–2 but won the second leg 1–0.

Mazembe qualified for the final on a 3-1 aggregate against Algerian giants JS Kabylie, while Tunisia’s Esperance clinched their ticket after edging past record six-time African champions Al Ahly on aggregate of 2-2 with an away goal in favour of Esperance. Officiating in football games has been a problem for a long time and its not about to go away.

After blaming a black goat for their 1-0 loss to Niger Egyptian side, Al Ahly quickly needed a scapegoat after they were eliminated by Tunisian side Esperance. Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was the quick excuse as Al Ahly “reported” him to the confederation of Africa Football (CAF).

Esperance’s striker Michael Eneramo scored a controversial goal with his hand just one minute before the end of the game to deny the Egyptian giants an opportunity to win the title for the seventh time. The Red Devils claimed on their website that the referee was ‘clearly biased.’ Television replays showed the Nigerian international clearly using his arm to steer the ball into the net after a headed cross.

And it gets worse. The final will be officiated by 41 year old Kokou
Djaoupe who is ranked 164th of the best football referees in Africa, and is listed as the worst referee in the history of some African countries such as Zambia, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa. He is often accused of being ‘biased’.

He had many problems with the Zambian football association and the Togolese football association, and was banned from refereeing for three years in mid 2008, but the sanction was later reduced to 18 months. Already a cross section of fans think that it will be a final for the referee and not the players since if history is anything to go by there is no way 90minutes can go by without Djaoupe making a mistake. However both teams need to hope that the Togolese football referee is on their side.

The winner of the CAF Champions League – Africa’s premier club competition – goes home with 1.5 million dollars as price money and will be able to represent Africa at the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates from December 8 to 18.

First leg

Sun 31/10/10 TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs Esperance (Tunisia)

Second leg

Sat 13/11/10   ES Tunis vs  TP Mazembe

* Away goals rule is used if the scores are tied

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