Gor Mahia named Kenya champions as African football seasons begin to shut down

An obscure rule has granted Gor Mahia the Kenyan Premier League title despite being only seven points in the lead with 11 rounds to play. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

Nairobi-based Gor Mahia have been crowned champions of the Kenya Premier League, making them the third African country to call off their football season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Angola, however, there will be no winners of the top-flight Girabola, with the campaign annulled. Mauritius ended their soccer season earlier this month, also 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. 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.