Esperance, who are still complaining bitterly about the officiating in the first leg two weeks ago, reckon Bennett will be an impartial and unbiased man in the middle for the game against TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Tunis.
“The South African referee Bennett is good and precise, I want an impartial official,” said Esperace coach Faouzi Benzarti on the eve of the final.
Esperance trail 5-0 from the first leg two weeks ago and need a miracle to turn around the outlook against the defending champions.
“We know we need a miracle but I can see it happening. The players are determined. We started to prepare for the return game as soon as we climbed on the plane in Congo (to go back home). I’ve never seen so much frustration and injustice; we have been given motivation by what happened in the first leg.”
Esperance’s complaint comes mainly from the opening goal of the first leg of the final, scored after 17 minutes in Lubumbashi when the Togolese match officials awarded a goal to Mazembe’s Ngandu Kasongo, whose header from Patou Kabungu’s free kick was adjudged to have crossed the goal line, even though the Tunisian visitors were not convinced.
Esperance then had defender Mohamed Ben Mansour sent off for an off-the-ball incident and their remaining 10-men folded like a deck of cards as Mazembe went on the rampage.