Rwanda, Gambia latest African countries to end football seasons

Rwanda flag in stadium field with soccer football
Rwanda’s football federation (FERWAFA) ended the 2019/2020 Rwanda Premier League and declared APR FC champions. (Getty Images)

The Gambia and Rwanda became the latest African countries to end their domestic top-flight seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the East and West African nations did so in contrasting fashion.

The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) declared the season null and void adding that there would be no winners, no promotions and relegation.

However, a decision was made that Real De Banjul FC and Gambia Armed Forces FC will represent the nation in the CAF interclubs competitions

“Nonetheless, the GFF will allow the current number one and number two of the 1st Division League (Real De Banjul FC and GAF FC) to represent the Gambia in the CAF Club Championship and CAF Confederation’s Cup respectively,” the GFF said on its website.

The GFF also pledged to provide financial support to clubs from the COVID-19 Relief Fund and take urgent action to improve the conditions of the country’s football fields.

In Rwanda, the Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) declared the season over and announced that Rwanda Premier League leaders APR FC were crowned champions. APR FC were on a 23-game unbeaten run before the season was suspended.

“…To consider standings of the Rwanda Premier League after Match Day 23 and declare APR FC Champions which leads the Rwanda Premier League with 57 points for the season 2019/2020. Match Day 24 has been cancelled to clubs that had played these matches since it was not fully played,” FERWAFA said in a statement on website.

Consequently, Heroes FC and Gicumbi FC, who were placed 15th and 16th respectively at the time of the league’s suspension, were relegated to the second division league for the 2020/2021 season.

FERWAFA added that the Men’s Second Division, play-offs competition will be played at a later date to determine the winner of the season and the two teams which will be promoted to the Rwanda Premier League for 2020/2021 season.

FERWAFA said that the women’s first and second division leagues remain suspended and will resume when the Rwandan government eases the lockdown on sporting activities.

The Men’s and Women’s Peace Cup editions for this year were declared null and void while all FERWAFA Youth Competitions in all age categories for this year were postponed.