Egyptian giants Al Ahly have released a long statement regarding the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) decision to play the final of the CAF Champions League in Morocco.
The Red Devils booked their place in the final of the competition following a 6-2 aggregate win over ES Setif, while Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca advanced from the semi-final stage after defeating Petro de Luanda over two legs.
After it was confirmed that the final was set to be held in Morocco, Pitso Mosimane and Al Ahly challenged CAF's process but were met with resistance from the African football governing body, who insisted only two nations had applied to host the spectacle, with one of them pulling out, leaving Morocco.
As a result, Al Ahly have issued a response in which they said they have written to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"Al Ahly SC asserts the strong and historic relations between the club and the Moroccan clubs and football fans in Morocco, who are not involved in the dispute between Al Ahly and CAF. The club is currently in dispute with CAF as their decision over the venue of the CAF Champions League final was unfair, and goes against all the FIFA regulations and the Olympic Charter. Also, the decision was announced at a late stage of the competition," the statement read, according to KingFut.
"The club will play the CAF Champions League final no matter where the game is held, guided by the club’s values and traditions. We did not receive any statements confirming the details of the game. Al Ahly adheres to its legitimate demands and will request specific regulations to ensure justice between the two competing teams in the final, which will be the headline of the biggest competition in Africa.
"The club decided to take the dispute to CAS and escalate the situation after all the negative matters in organizing CAF competitions, which do not have specific regulations for a long time. The club demands CAS to determine the case before the date of the final. The club wants the game to be held in a neutral venue or to be postponed until determining the situation by CAS, to provide equal opportunities for the two competing teams.
"Whatever the outcomes of the situation, the club will continue proceeding with its complaint to CAS as the club has a role to do for our beloved continent based on the continental and international value of the club that will participate in the final for the 15th time in history. The club is looking forward to having the support of the national and international organizations in correcting what has been happening and providing the best for football in Africa, regarding the competitions and football venues. Our beloved continent that has produced some of the finest talents in the world deserves the best on all levels.
"Al Ahly will host an international press conference after the CAF Champions League final to uncover all the hidden details related to CAF's decision that contradicts all fair play standards. Also to stress all the unaccepted mistakes that were included in official statements of all parties, regarding this issue.
"Al Ahly has decided to form a crisis management committee, headed by president Mahmoud El Khatib with the membership of Mr. Yassen Mansour, the head of Al Ahly Football Company, Mustapha Mourad Fahmy, vice-president of Al Ahly Football Company, Hossam Ghaly, Al Ahly's board member, Dr. Saad Shalaby, Al Ahly's executive director, and Mr. Amr Shaheen, Al Ahly's Football Company executive director, and Al Ahly's Football Company Legal councilor.
"Al Ahly's board would like to express its ultimate confidence in our first team, its coaching staff, and administrative staff, and that they are all capable of achieving success under any circumstances no matter where they are playing in Africa, and that they are all aware of the responsibility they are carrying to make our beloved fans proud and happy.
"The club will address FIFA regarding the call-up of the foreign players of Al Ahly SC to join their national teams on 30 May, the starting date of the international break, which contradicts the date of the CAF Champions League final, which was announced by CAF on all its official platforms. This is the same situation that happened when Al Ahly was forced to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup without the international players from (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Mali), who were representing their national teams in the 2022 AFCON as CAF decided to play the competition during the same period of the FIFA Club World Cup in the UAE.
"Al Ahly's board will continue assessing the situation."
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