All set for Ahly vs Wydad CAF champions league final.

Egyptian giants Al-Ahly will this Monday play their most important match this season when they meet Wydad of Morocco in the final of the CAF Champions League.

The Reds are looking to win the Champions League for a record 3 times in a row with their South African coach Pitso Mosimane.

If they achieve the feat, it will also be for a record extending 11th time.

In the run up to the final, Al Ahly have been in dispute with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for their decision to hold the match at the stade Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, the home ground of Wydad. 

CAF said Morocco and Senegal were the only countries who applied to host the final but Senegal’s withdrawal, without an explanation left little or no alternative.

Wydad are looking for their third crown after winning the title in the 1992 and 2017 editions while their coach Walid Regragui seeks to repeat the feat of Al-Hussein Amota who won it in 2017.

“I told the players that we want to win the title, and it does not matter what form the performance is, history will mention Cup winners only” Regragui says.

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.