Al-Hilal lose appeal against Asian Champions League defeat

Published 11/04/2015, 11:11 AM EST

ZURICH (Reuters) – Al-Ahli have been given the go-ahead to play the first leg of their Asian Champions League final on Saturday after an attempt by their beaten semi-final opponents, Al-Hilal, to have the result overturned was thrown out.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), sport’s highest tribunal, said on Wednesday it had dismissed the Saudi club’s appeal, leaving their opponents, from the United Arab Emirates, free to host China’s Guangzhou Evergrande on Saturday.

Al-Hilal had claimed that former Heerenveen, Liverpool and Stoke City winger Oussama Assaidi, who came on for the last 20 minutes of their semi-final second leg, was not eligible to play for Al-Ahli, who won 3-2, with a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, to reach the final 4-3 on aggregate.

The Saudi side, who have already lost an appeal to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), had asked for a 3-0 walkover for the second leg.

The CAS said it had dismissed Al-Hilal’s appeal and would give the reasons for its decision at a later date.

(Writing by Brian Homewood,; Editing by Neville Dalton)

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