TP Mazembe declared champions in DR Congo

TP Mazembe win record-extending 18th league title in the Democratic Republic of Congo after coronavirus forces league to end
TP Mazembe players celebrate with the trophy after winning the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final against the MO Bejaja in Lubumbashi on November 6, 2016. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

TP Mazembe have won a record-extending 18th league title in the Democratic Republic of Congo after they were declared champions of the 2019/20 Vodacom Ligue 1 following the abrupt end of the country’s league season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The DR Congo’s football federation FECOFA released a statement following a meeting on Wednesday 14 May.

“The Executive Committee of the Congolese Federation of Football Association met this Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at Africana Palace to decide on the 2019 – 2020 season interrupted because of the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of the meeting, the federation led by Constant Omari Selemani decided to stop championships and competitions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The decision was announced to the press by the Deputy Secretary-General, Belgian Situatala.

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“The deputy secretary-general of FECOFA said that members of the executive committee of the federation have approved the classification of the championship of the National football league transmitted by the management committee of this entity. TP Mazembe is crowned champion of the season, sporting 2019 – 2020, with 53 points. They are followed by AS V.Club (48 points), AS Maniema Union (46 points), DC Motema Pembe (42 points) and JS Groupe Bazano (38 points) for the first five places.

The last two teams in the standings, OC Bukavu Dawa from Bukavu and AS Nyuki from Butembo, have been relegated to Division 2. They will be replaced by the two champions from two Ligue 2 sites; JSK from Kinshasa for the West site and Etoile Yellow from Katanga for the South Center. No relegation or promotion for the clubs of the East site following the insufficient number of matches played. Only TS Malekesa of Kisangani played 12 games and the other teams did not even finish the first leg, according to the Belgian SGA Situatala.”

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Consequently, TP Mazembe and AS Vita Club will represent the country in next season’s CAF Champions League while AS Maniema Union will participate in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup. They will be joined by DC Motema Pembe.

The DR Congo now join the likes of Cameroon, Mauritius, Guinea, Kenya, Angola, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso as countries to have abandoned their football season.

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