DR Congo Suspends League Competition; Fears Pending Political Crisis

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On the request of the government DR Congo’s league competition has been suspended by the country’s football association till further notice.

The request was as a result of a possible violent outcome of the elections in Congo.

The competition, which should have kicked off from Thursday, will be on hold in order not to endanger lives supposing there was a political crisis prior to 19th of December when President Kabila should be stepping down.

See Also: DR Congo’s Government Delays Presidential Vote To 2018

Kabila took over the mantle of leadership since 2001 when his father died. He succeeded him and has ruled ever since.

Countering the scheduled step down in few days time, the president has said he wants to be in power till April 2018.

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In September, Congo witnessed violent demonstrations that claimed the lives of over 50 people.

It is still feared that there will be a repeat of election delays and possible protests again this month. As a result the government thinks it is thoughtful to halt the league competition for now.



According to Barthelemy Okito, secretary-general of the sports ministry:

“This general situation in the country risks spilling into the stadiums.”

Okito fears a repeat of what happened in 1959, when riots broke out in a football stadium against Belgian colonial rule. Thus the call to halt DR Congo’s league competition for now.

Political figures have called on the president to respect the rule of law and quit delaying votes in order to cling to power.

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Moise Katumbi, owner of TP Mazembe, a Congolese football club, finds it absurd that a noble sport as football will be placed on hold for political reasons.

“Football is the only thing that keeps people entertained and makes them forget about Kabila’s dictatorship and the poverty in Congo.

“You cannot indefinitely suspend the league when our national team is participating in the Africa Cup of Nations next month. How are the local players going to prepare?”