Rabat – The Union of Arab Football Associations has named controversial Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha as the official referee for the upcoming match between the Moroccan club Olympic Club de Safi (OCS) and Esperance de Tunis (EST). The game is part of the knockout stages of the Arab Club Champions Cup.
Grisha’s questionable performance in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League final led to an ongoing dispute between EST and Moroccan team Wydad Athletic Club (WAC).
During the first leg of the final the referee appeared to favor the Tunisian side and overlooked several score-affecting mistakes from Tunsian players.
On May 24, the Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat was hosting the final game where the main referee chose to discount a legitimate goal by WAC and did not give them a penalty kick that the club’s fans believe they deserved. The referee also served WAC captain Brahim Nakkach with a red card.
WAC sent an official letter of complaint to the CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, denouncing the biased rulings and emphasizing that they changed the course of the match.
Following complaints from both the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) and WAC, CAF handed a six-month suspension to the Egyptian referee.
On June 14, CAF lifted Grisha’s suspension. The Egyptian federation announced on the same day that Grisha would officiate games during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).
Following his reinstatement Grisha acted as the main referee for the CAN group stage games between Kenya and Senegal.