Esperance vs. Wydad : Tunisian Prime Minister comments on CAF’s decision ahead of elections

Tunisian Prime Minister commented on the «arbitration scandal» that took place during the Esperance and Wydad Casablanca game. Youssef Chahed sought the opportunity to boost his popularity ahead of elections in Tunisia.

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Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. / Ph. DR

On Wednesday, June 5, the African Football Confederation (CAF) decided at the end of an emergency meeting of an executive committee held in Paris to have the Wydad-Esperance game replayed on a field outside Tunisia. CAF’s decision made headlines, pushing Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed to break his silence on the matter.

The politician was quick to comment on the decision, saying on his Facebook page that his country’s security forces are «an example to follow in the world». «Whoever questions security in Tunisia must assume responsibility. My greetings are extended to Esperance’s fans for their discipline in the last match», said Chahed, referring to the game played against Wydad Casablanca.

The Tunisian Prime Minister added that he will «not give up on Esperance’s rights and any other Tunisian football association. Tunisians are united».

Chahed thus reacted to the first decision of CAF executive board, which justified its ruling on June 5, regarding the first complaint related to VAR.

«The conditions of security and play were not met during the second leg, preventing the match from coming to an end».

Youssef Chahed

An opportunity to boost his popularity ahead of elections ?

The reaction of the head of the Tunisian government raises a number of questions : does Chahed have the right to criticize the decisions of the African Football Confederation ? This comes as Esperance president was accused of threatening CAF president Ahmad Ahmad during the game in Tunis. «The president of Esperance Tunis threatened me in front of witnesses», Ahmad told media.

However, Youssef Chahed is known to be a man who does not act under the influence of emotions. He is the «spiritual son» of Essebsi, he ended up forcing his «father» to announce his retirement from politics after the presidential elections, scheduled for November 2019.

Moreover, this message comes as the forty-year-old politician has great political ambitions. Since June 1, Chahed has now his own party : «Tahya Tounes», launched last January and which intends to take the place of Nidaa Tounes, that has been losing ground in Tunisia’s political scene.

The new formation is likely to run for elections in October and win the presidential elections in November this year.

Esperance Tunis announced, yesterday and immediately after CAF unveiled its decision, its intention to seek the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The club believes it «had no responsibility in the decision taken by the referee to stop the game before term», said a Tunisian media.

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