April 30 (Reuters) - Nairobi-based Gor Mahia have been crowned champions of the Kenya Premier League after the 2019/20 season was declared over due to the COVID-19 pandemic but in Angola there will be no winners of the top-flight Girabola with the campaign annulled.
It brings to three the number of African domestic leagues that have been cancelled as the outbreak begins to take hold on the continent, after Mauritius ended their soccer season earlier this month without declaring a champion.
It is the fourth championship in a row for Gor Mahia, who held a seven-point lead over Homeboyz, who had a game in hand, with 11 rounds of matches to play in the 34-game season.
They were champions due to an obscure KPL statute, according to Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa on Thursday.
It says that if the season is cancelled due to force majeure, the leaders after 17 rounds, or the halfway mark of the campaign, will be crowned champions.
Gor Mahia will be Kenya’s sole representative in the 2020/21 CAF Champions League competition.
In Angola, there were just five rounds to play in the 30-game season but a meeting of Girabola clubs on Thursday resolved not to continue the campaign with no title awarded and no relegation.
The top two, Petro Atletico and Primero de Agosto, will represent the country in the Champions League, with Angola’s higher ranking with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) allowing them to enter two teams.
Petro led the table by three points from Primero, but had also played a game more in what was shaping up to be a tight finish.
CAF wrote to member associations this week to set a May 5 deadline to decide whether they intend to continue with their domestic season or call a premature end to the campaign. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)