Hearts of Oak are set to get automatic qualification over Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) Casablanca following a FIFA ban imposed on the Moroccan club from participating in this year’s CAF Champions League.

This latest development means that the Ghana Premier League Champions will secure passage to the lucrative group stage of the competition for the first time since 2006.

The reason behind Wydad‘s suspension is unpaid dues to Chisom Chikatara, who had been a part of the Moroccan club squad from 2016 to 2018.

As a result, the club were slapped with a transfer ban by FIFA, which was later upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for failing to pay the Nigerian international a total sum of $187,250.33 before December 31, 2020.

The amount comprises a judgement sum of $165,167, in addition to a five per cent interest accruing from April 7, 2019 to April 7, 2021 and a cost of 3,000 Swiss Francs ordered by CAS.

This season is Hearts’ first participation in the CAFCL since 2008 (they opted out opossible appearance in 2010 due to financial constraints).