Ghana’s Accra Hearts of Oak could get automatic qualification over Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) Casablanca following a FIFA ban imposed on the Moroccan club from participating in this year’s CAF Champions League.
WAC were slapped with a transfer ban by FIFA, which was later upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for failing to pay Nigerian international, Chisom Elvis Chikatara, a total sum of $187,250.33 before December 31, 2020.
The amount comprises a judgement sum of $165,167, in addition to a five per cent interest accruing from April 7, 2019 to April 7, 2021 and a cost of 3,000 Swiss Francs ordered by CAS.
According to a letter issued by the player’s solicitors, Activity Chambers, and signed by the Head of Sports Law (Africa), Johnny Precious Ogbah, to the Head of the Club Licensing Department of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation on July 29, 2021, the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber ruled in favour of their client on March 7, 2019 and also awarded the cost of $165,167 against WAC.
“This was to be paid within 30 days. The decision further stated that in the event that the aforementioned amounts are not paid by the Respondent within the stated time limit, interest at the rate of 5% p.a. will fall due as of the expiry date,” it explained.
However, a separate letter signed by Johnny Precious Ogbah to the President of Accra Hearts of Oak dated September 20, 2021, stated that WAC were ineligible to participate in the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League after failing to meet a CAF deadline of August 15, 2021 in connection with the payment of the overdue payables owed Chikatara.
“We write to inform you that your opponents in the next round of the CAF Champions League, WAC of Morocco, are ineligible to participate in the CAF Champions League 2021/2022." - Letter written to Accra Hearts of Oak.