Finally, Confederation of African Football has ruled in the case involving Heartland FC of Owerri and their Gabonese counterparts US Bitam.
It would be recalled that the CAF Confederation Cup fixture between both teams did not take place on April 6 because the Nigerians arrived Gabon late on the day of the match.
In its verdict, CAF technically disqualified Heartland and awarded the match to US Bitam, who will now face Algerians USM Algiers in the next round of the competition.
That ruling is in line with Article 16 of the regulations :
”If for any reason whatsoever, a team withdraws from the competition or does not report for a match-except in case of force majeure accepted by the Organising Committee- or if it refuses to play or leaves the ground before the regular end of the match without the permission of the referee, it shall be considered loser and shall be eliminated from the competition. The same shall apply to the teams which were declared disqualified by decision of CAF.”
In addition, Heartland could be sanctioned financially during the next meeting of the CAF inter-clubs Committee in May in Cairo.