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Le Messager Ngozi celebrate after winning the Burundi Premier League

Football

Burundi crown champions after playing through pandemic

BUJUMBURA, Burundi, Jun 22 – Le Messager Ngozi have been crowned champions of Burundi, the only African country to continue playing football when the coronavirus pandemic spread in the continent. 

They defeated visiting Inter Star 3-0 at the weekend to take an unassailable five-point lead over only title rivals Musongati, who were held 1-1 away to Kayanza United.

“There was no reason to halt the league when other activities in the country were continuing as usual,” football association president Ndikuriyo Reverien told reporters.

Ngozi, who won the league for a first time two seasons ago, have 61 points from 29 matches with one round to play and qualify for the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League.

After failing to win a maiden championship title in the tiny east African country, Musongati will have another chance to secure silverware when they meet Rukinzo in the FA Cup final.

Only one club from the nation has reached a CAF club final with Vital’O losing 5-1 on aggregate to Africa Sports of the Ivory Coast in the 1992 African Cup Winners Cup final.

Burundi, who played at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time last year, are ranked 43rd among 54 countries in Africa and 152nd in the world.

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