CAF Champions League final: 5 things to know

Reuters

Five things to know ahead of the CAF Champions League final between Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and title-holders Al Ahly of Egypt in Casablanca on Monday.

Qualifying

Ahly eliminated Raja Casablanca, arch rivals of Wydad and the other Moroccan giants, in the quarter-finals by winning narrowly at home and drawing away. Wydad reached the final despite being held at home by Chabab Belouizdad of Algeria and Petro Luanda of Angola in the knockout rounds.

Venue

Stade Mohammed V is named after a former king of Morocco, was opened in 1955 and is situated in the heart of Casablanca, the commercial capital. When filled to its 67,000 capacity it is among the most intimidating cauldrons in Africa for visiting teams as home supporters sing, cheer and wave huge flags.

Referee

South African Victor Gomes, 39, was such a poor footballer he quit the game at 14 and turned to refereeing, starting with matches between suburban clubs in Johannesburg. He debuted as a South African Premiership match official in 2008 and became an international referee three years later.

Prizemoney

The champions pocket $2.5 million (2.35 mn euros) and the runners-up $1.25 mn -- amounts that were due to increase last season but did not after CAF suffered several yearly losses. A huge boost for the winners is being guaranteed an extra $2.5 mn as qualifiers for the Club World Cup.

Background

The premier club competition was called the African Cup of Champions Clubs when it kicked off in 1964 with Oryx Douala from Cameroon the first winners. Changes in 1997 included a new name, the CAF Champions League, and the introduction of four-team groups between the qualifying and knockout stages.


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