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Africa Sports News of Saturday, 2 May 2020

Source: cafonline.com

Gor Mahia named champions as Kenyan football season is called off

Gor Mahia has been named champions of the Kenyan Premier League for a record-extending 19th time after the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) invoked Rule 2.6.1.2 of the rules and regulations governing the game to call off the season under force majeure.

The decision was announced by the Federation president Nick Mwendwa who said the lockdowns enforced by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 will make it difficult for football to return.

Currently, a 7pm-5am curfew has been enforced in Kenya while movement in and out of the two biggest cities, Mombasa and Nairobi have been restricted up until May 16.

"The extra ordinary step has been reluctantly arrived at, in an effort aimed at safeguarding the well-being, safety and good health of the thousands of football players, Technical Bench members, fans and the general Kenyan public", Football Kenya Federation.

Rule 2.6.1.2 states; "Where the league format due to circumstances of force majeure fails to be completed within the season, the league winner shall be determined as follows; Where all the Clubs in the league have completed the first round fixture but less than 75% league games have been played, the table standings at the end of the first round shall be considered as the final table standing of the league."

With only 71 per cent of league matches played, the Federation has decided the final standings will be decided as at mid-season. This therefore means that Gor will be champions of the top tier having topped the log with 39 points from 16 matches with Tusker FC second with 34.

In the second-tier National Super League, Nairobi City Stars led with 43 points as at the halfway mark with Bidco United second, seven points behind.

"We don’t know if the President will extend it but for sure no football will be played in May and possibly the whole of June. We need at least six weekends for the remaining 11 matches to play. But we also need teams back to training and given at least two to three weeks in order to play again,"

He added; “You need at least 10 weeks to execute the league and after that you need 60 days for pre-season which is two months. Essentially, you need 16 weekends before next season, time which is not available.”

A statement from the Federation further added; "The extraordinary step has been reluctantly arrived at, in an effort aimed at safeguarding the well-being, safety and good health of the thousands of football players, Technical Bench members, fans and the general Kenyan public."

Meanwhile, the Women’s Premier League and second-tier have been cancelled as they had just played one match into the new season.

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