COVID-19 impact on African leagues

CAF Logo communique

The coronavirus pandemic has continued to cause major upsets on world sports and African football has not been left behind, with the effects already rolling down. Here is how the pandemic has so far affected African leagues.

Mauritius

Mauritius became the first African country to end its football season due to the pandemic after an initial indefinite postponement on March 19.

The Football Association, through General Secretary Didier Gnanapragassa communicated to the clubs the decision to wind down the season throughout the country over uncertainties as to when the pandemic will be over.

A decision is yet to be made on its representatives in next year’s CAF Clubs competitions.

Date of decision: 6 April 2020

Mauritius

Kenya

The Football Kenya Federation has decided to end football across all its seven tiers of the men’s game as well as the two tiers of the Women Leagues. Under a Force Majeure clause in its rules, the champions of each league will be decided by the standings at mid-season.

Gor Mahia are crowned the Premier League champions for a 19th time with Chemelil Sugar and Sony Sugar relegated while Nairobi City Stars are champions of the second tier and promoted to the Premier League alongside Bidco United.

The two tiers of the women’s leagues have consequently been cancelled as they had only played one round of matches into the new season.

Date of decision: 30 April 2020

FKF Letter

Angola

After a meeting with the top tier clubs, the Angolan Football Federation also made a decision on it’s leagues and different from Kenya, they decided to cancel the season with five rounds of matches left to play.

Petro de Luanda were leading the top tier with 54 points with Primero de Agosto second. A decision was reached that the two clubs will represent Angola in the Total CAF Champions League.

For the Confederations Cup representative, a decision will be reached at a later date, depending on finances and the coronavirus situation.

Date of decision: 30 April 2020

Guinea

The President of the Guinean Professional Football League (LGFP) General Mathurin Bangoura announced that the top two tiers of Guinean football will not be able to be completed because of the pandemic.

With the uncertainty on when the pandemic will be over, Bangoura said a unanimous decision was reached to cancel the season with no champions, promotion or relegation.

The league had reached the halfway point with Horoya leading the standings with 29 points, four ahead of second placed Wakirya. The Federation is set to make a decision on the representatives for CAF Competitions.

Date of Decision: 30 April 2020

Burkina Faso

The Emergency Committee of the Burkina Faso Football Federation has made the decision to cancel the top tier season with six rounds of matches left to play.

There will be no champions or relegation in the top tier, but with the second tier already completed, the top two teams will be promoted which means the next season of the top tier league will have 18 teams

At the same time, Rahimo FC has been selected to represent Burkina Faso in the Total CAF Champions League while Salitas FC will play in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Date of decision: 4 May 2020

Ethiopia

The Executive Committee of the Ethiopia Football Federation, in consultation with government organs and the league administrators has announced the cancellation of all tiers of football in the Eastern Africa Country with no champions declared, promotion or relegation as well.

The league was halted early March as the coronavirus pandemic began to gather pace with Fasil Kenema top of the standings with 30 points, Mekelle Enderta second with 28 points, same as third placed St, George.

Consequently, EFF has announced that Ethiopia will not have a representative at next season’s continental club championship.

Date of decision: 5 May 2020

Congo

The Congo Football Federation has named AS Otoho as champions of the 2019-20 season after cancelling all football due to the coronavirus.

The Executive Committee made the decision after a meeting to assess the situation and it was unanimously agreed that it would be difficult to resume sporting activities soon.

Otoho who were leading the standings with a 14-point gap with six matches remaining before the season was halted will play in the Total CAF Champions League while second placed Diables Noirs will play in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Date of decision: 5 May 2020

Liberia

The Liberia Football Association has also announced the cancellation of all its football leagues with no champions, relegation or promotion after a meeting of the Executive Committee.

With nine rounds of matches left, Mighty Barolle were leading the standings with 23 points, one ahead of BEA Mountain and two ahead of third placed MC Breweries. The league was still open with only four points separating the leaders and the eighth placed team.

Meanwhile the Liberia FA will consult on a play-off between the top four to determine representatives at next season’s CAF Competitions.

Date of decision: 5 May 2020

Cameroon

Cameroon became the latest African country to void its football season due to the pandemic and a meeting between the Federation (FECAFOOT) and the respective clubs came to a consensus that it would be impossible to complete the campaign.

In accordance with the discussions held, PWD Bamenda have been named champions of the Elite One League and will represent Cameroon in the 2020-21 Total CAF Champions League.

At the same time, Yaounde’s Louves Minproff Club were named champions of the Cameroon Women’s Football Division One League.

Date of decision: 12 May 2020

Cameroon

DR Congo

The Executive Committee of the Democratic Republic of Congo Football Federation has called an end to all its football leagues due to the sweeping effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

TP Mazembe who led the standings by the time the league was suspended have been named champions and will represent DR Congo in the 2020-21 Total CAF Champions League alongside AS Vita who were second, five points behind.

Meanwhile, AS Maniema Union and DC Motema Pembe who were third and fourth respectively in the standings will represent the Central African country in the Total CAF Confederation Cup.

Date of decision: 14 May 2020

Uganda

Citing a Force Majeure clause in its competition, the Federation of Ugandan Football Associations (FUFA) has resolved to end the season due to COVID-19.

Vipers led the standings with 54 points, four ahead of second placed Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) after 25 rounds of matches. Vipers will represent Uganda in next season’s Total CAF Champions League while KCCA will play in the Total CAF Confederation Cup.

Meanwhile, Maroons, Proline and Tooro United have been relegated to the second tier FUFA Big League while UPDF Football Club and MYDA Football Club have earned promotion.

At the same time, the Women’s Premier League has been cancelled.

Date of decision: 20 May 2020

South Sudan

South Sudan

South Sudan has become the latest CAF Member Association to call an end to its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has currently caused a stoppage to sports events all over the world.

Apart from calling to an end the Premier League, the SSFA has also cancelled all football activities in the country while there will be no promotion or relegation across all leagues and as thus South Sudan will not have a team representing it at the 2020-21 Total CAF Champions League.

However, Alrabita Juba FC have earned themselves a ticket to the CAF Confederations Cup having won the Cup tournament which had been completed before football was called off due to the virus.

Date of decision: May 20, 2020

Burundi

Burundi’s Primus Ligue became the first African league to re-start as the world of sports begins to slowly pick up the ruins from the stoppages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The league-restarted on Thursday with a match between Musongati and Athletico Olympic.

The match, staged at the Stade Ingoma in Gitaga ended in a 3-3 draw with full attendance including the president of the Burundi Football Federation. The result saw Musongati move to 54 points, just one behind leaders Le Messager Ngozi.

This weekend, action will shift to the Cup fixtures. The competition is currently in the semi-final stage. The final is scheduled for the 13th of June. League matches will resume on the 30th of this month with the final round scheduled for June 28.

Date of resumption: 21 May 2020

Tanzania

In Tanzania, the Government has announced that sports activities in the country will be allowed to resume from June 1.

The Tanzanian league managers are thus preparing for resumption after stoppage since March 17.

With 10 rounds of matches left, giants Simba SC were leading the Ligi Kuu Bara standings with 71 points, a healthy 17 ahead of second placed Azam FC. Just six wins out of the remaining 10 matches will confirm them as champions.

Expected date of resumption: 1 June 2020

Rwanda

Army side APR have been crowned Rwanda Premier League champions for a record 18th time after the Rwandese Football federation (FERWAFA) called an end to the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was reached upon by the FERWAFA Executive Committee in accordance to Article 33 of the FERWAFA Statutes and Article 28 of the FERWAFA Internal rules and regulations.

FERWAFA handed APR the title based on the standings after Match Day 23, and subsequently, results from Match Day 24 have been cancelled as not all teams had played round 24 games. APR led the standings with 57 points.

Date of Decision: 22 May 2020

Togo

Togo became the latest African country to announce an end to its national championships due to the COVID-19 situation. The Togolese Football Federation has formally announced the end to the 2019-20 season, with football having been suspended over the last two months.

The Togolese Federation has been holding consultations with government authorities over the last few weeks, to see if it was safe to return to action. The decision was finally reached, to cease all football activities permanently.

Consequently, the Kozah Sports Association (ASKO) have been named champions of the first division as they led the standings with 39 points, six ahead of second placed Unisport when football was halted with 20 rounds of matches played. There were six match days remaining before the season ended.

Date of decision: 26 May 2020

Tunisia

The Tunisian Football Federation has announced plans to allow Ligue One teams to resume individual training sessions from June 4, while group sessions can start in a maximum of 15 days as they started plans to get the season back on track.

The Tunisian football league has been suspended since mid-March 2020 due to COVID-19. According to the federation, they are considering a return to competitions in August to complete the current campaign.

Meanwhile, the Ligue Two season has been called off, with the exception of teams who were up for promotion and relegation, with a play-off tournament set to be organized for that purpose.

BFA

Botswana

Jwaneng Galaxy FC have been declared champions after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) made the decision to annul the season due to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

A meeting of the BFA Executive Committee on June 14 made the decision to end the campaign with the league standings remaining as they were when the season was halted in March.

Galaxy led the standings with 41 points, one ahead of second placed Township Rollers and third placed Orapa United with 10 rounds of matches left. They will thus represent Botswana at next season’s Total CAF Champions League.

Date of Decision: 14 June 2020