Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Charef will long remember the first leg of African finals of Ahly from Cairo – Esperance from Tunisia (3-1), which he led to Egypt last Friday.
He whispered three sentences, two for the locals, and one for making a visit. This was the topic of virulent criticism that was brought here and elsewhere by consultants and experts in arbitration. The Algeria judge is charged with the award of two unclear sentences to the Egyptian team.
However, the Judge for Video Assistance (VAR), used during this meeting, gave him the reason for both decisions. Tunis, that is their right, did not share that feeling and promptly informed them by means of a letter sent to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over which they complained about Mehdi Abid Charef's decisions.
The areas of darkness remain in what actually happened when VAR entered the game after Mehdi Abid Charef decided to point out the penalty. Everyone noticed that while waiting for the final decision to be made by the judge, following verbal exchange with VAR agents, Mehdi Abid Charef showed on the screen. An unusual thing in such circumstances.
Seems to have asked those who watched the snapshot to show him all the pictures of the actions on which he made his decision. Behind the screen, there were 3 judges, Cameroon Malang presses who ran the final return on Friday in Tunisia, two rivals of Senegalese and special Portuguese technicians chosen for that occasion by the Egyptian director.
The pictures depict Mehdi Abid Charef in full conversation, and gestures in support, with those who have shaped the sequence. At another punishment handed down to Ahly, Mehdi Abid Charef could cancel his decision after a whistle blow, if his Egyptian director showed an action in which Azzaro (Ahly) drove the Tunisian defender before the latter touched the penalty box, decisions of the Algeria Judge.
Which explains why the latter stayed in front of the small screen where he saw a tight conversation with the men of VAR. Has Mehdi Abid Charef captured an Egyptian director with the participation of Portuguese technicians? This will only be an independent investigation ordered by OSRH.
But knowing huge financial interests at stake, and especially the weight of parties involved in entertaining contracts for television rights, marketing and advertising, it seems little to the investigation can lead to a concrete one.