Algerian ref gives two ghost penalties despite VAR

Algerian ref Mehdi Abid Charef was at the centre of a hugely controversial African Champions League final between Al Ahly and Esperance.

In the first leg of the final, the use of VAR was introduced for the very first time in African continental football.

However after half an hour, a highly controversial dive in the box saw the Algerian ref point to the spot in what was clear simulation with no contact from the goalkeeper.

VAR then told Charef to review the decision, but despite watching the incident on video, Charef stuck with the decision to award the spot-kick.

Al Ahly, who were later 2-1 up in the second half, were then awarded a second penalty for what was a ghost incident.

VAR once again told the Algerian official, who went to the World Cup in the summer, to go and watch the incident which he did.

However, to the shock of everyone he stuck with his decision and Al Ahly went on to win 3-1 against the Tunisian side with the second leg next Friday.

Algerian winger Youcef Belaili, who was called up to the national team recently, scored for Esperance in what could be a crucial away goal on the night.

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