Champions League Final

Champions League Final : UEFA has decided to hold off the anticipated changes to the current set of rules, which were approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) during the season, until June 25.

The new rules were set to be applied by June 1, which is the day of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Champions League Final Live

IFAB’s new guidelines prohibit – amongst other things – attacking players to place themselves in the wall during a free-kick, while they will rule out any goal scored with the hand, either intentionally or not.

Thus, no games until June 25 will be played under the new rules, which are expected to come into effect ahead of the 2019/20 Champions League qualifying rounds.

The CAF Champions League final second-leg clash between Tunisian club side EL Tunis and Moroccan rivals Wydad Casablanca was called to an abrupt end after only 61 minutes when the referee refused to look at the VAR after an incorrect offside decision denied the visitors a vital equaliser.

Wydad’s players left the pitch and refused to play on in protest as widespread reports revealed the VAR system was not working even before the match.

The CAF Champions League final second-leg clash between Tunisian club side EL Tunis and Moroccan rivals Wydad Casablanca was called to an abrupt end after only 61 minutes when the referee refused to look at the VAR after an incorrect offside decision denied the visitors a vital equaliser.

Wydad’s players left the pitch and refused to play on in protest as widespread reports revealed the VAR system was not working even before the match.

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad came down to the pitch in an attempt to settle the situation but it only added more fuel to the fire as fans invaded the pitch while players and officials faced off in heated scenes.

With no one able to come to a resolution nearly an hour and a half after Wydad players first stormed off the pitch, El Tunis was crowned victors 2-1 on aggregate after the referee called an abrupt end to the match deeming Wydad to have forfeit the match.

Commentators struggled to piece together the wild scenes to their audience.

“So El Karti scored the goal, now this goal was onside. All of these fans inside the stadium saw that it was actually a goal that should have been allowed,” the commentator said.

“Now the problem is, VAR has got a technical issue, and despite the fact that everyone has seen these images, when you actually go to the transmission van, it’s not actually ratified by CAF to use those images for verification.

“So it can’t give you the final decision on a goal or not if it isn’t going through the proper rules and regulations which is video assistant referee. It basically means that the images you can see there are not valid which means that it’s a catch 22 situation and the Tunisian coach has insisted, ’We will not play on until we see VAR show us that was a goal that should have been allowed’.”

“We are just caught in between a couple of conflicting situations that are preventing this game from being continued, it’s been like that for the last hour now. You are still watching a match that has been suspended after the 61st minute. So we do have 30 minutes left to play, whether it can be played now or it needs to be replayed tomorrow or the day after, that’s a very good question. And one I cannot answer right now.”

It is another black mark on VAR after issues with the technology played a major role in Melbourne Victory’s controversial A-League grand final win against Newcastle in 2018.

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad came down to the pitch in an attempt to settle the situation but it only added more fuel to the fire as fans invaded the pitch while players and officials faced off in heated scenes.

With no one able to come to a resolution nearly an hour and a half after Wydad players first stormed off the pitch, El Tunis was crowned victors 2-1 on aggregate after the referee called an abrupt end to the match deeming Wydad to have forfeit the match.

Commentators struggled to piece together the wild scenes to their audience.

“So El Karti scored the goal, now this goal was onside. All of these fans inside the stadium saw that it was actually a goal that should have been allowed,” the commentator said.

“Now the problem is, VAR has got a technical issue, and despite the fact that everyone has seen these images, when you actually go to the transmission van, it’s not actually ratified by CAF to use those images for verification.

“So it can’t give you the final decision on a goal or not if it isn’t going through the proper rules and regulations which is video assistant referee. It basically means that the images you can see there are not valid which means that it’s a catch 22 situation and the Tunisian coach has insisted, ’We will not play on until we see VAR show us that was a goal that should have been allowed’.”

“We are just caught in between a couple of conflicting situations that are preventing this game from being continued, it’s been like that for the last hour now. You are still watching a match that has been suspended after the 61st minute. So we do have 30 minutes left to play, whether it can be played now or it needs to be replayed tomorrow or the day after, that’s a very good question. And one I cannot answer right now.”

It is another black mark on VAR after issues with the technology played a major role in Melbourne Victory’s controversial A-League grand final win against Newcastle in 2018.

Twelve months ago, Liverpool’s build-up to their Champions League final against Real Madrid was dominated by the importance of Mohamed Salah to their chances and, given his team’s struggles after he went off injured, rightly so.

Now, of the Reds’ enviable front three, Sadio Mane has arguably become the key figure. He shared the Premier League’s Golden Boot with Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but take away penalties and Mane would have been three clear of any other player.

The Senegal forward scored Liverpool’s only goal in the 2018 final and if he nets against Spurs he will be the first player to score in the final in consecutive years since Franz Roth for Bayern Munich in 1975 and 1976.

He comes alive in the knockout stages, with 71% of his Champions League goals coming after the groups – the highest proportion of any player with 10 or more – and his expected goals total of 7.8 (excluding penalties) in this season’s tournament is exactly 2.0 higher than any other player in 2018-19 and only 1.1 lower than Manchester United managed in their entire European campaign.

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