Tunisian side, Club Africain, defeated Dolphins FC by ‘walkover’ in the first round of the Caf Confederation Cup on Saturday.
There was not a trace of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side as at 3:30pm (local time) when Ethiopian referee Haileyesus Bazezwew Bellete whistled for the start of the match at the Nov. 5 Stadium in Rades, Tunis.
In accordance with the second-tier competition statutes, referee Bellete declared Club Africain winner of the tie by a 3-0 scoreline after a 15-minute wait, meaning the Port-Harcourt side have thus been eliminated from the round of 32 for the first time.
Cash row between players and management had cost Dolphins a scheduled Emirates Airline flight from Lagos to Tunis on Friday.
InformationNigeria gathered that the team was on its way to the stadium while their full-kitted counterpart and match officials waited on the pitch for their arrival.
Dolphins defeated Equatoguinean side Leones des Vegetarianos in the preliminary round on penalty shootout after aggregate scores stood at 1-1. Club Africain were drawn bye to the first round of the competition.
Dolphins were finalists in 2005, reached the group stages in 2007 and made a play-off berth in 2008.