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DRC topflight suspended due to violence

By Sampson Adedeji

DR Congo Minister for Sports Denis Kambayi has suspended the

country’s topflight league “Linafoot” indefinitely due to “violence in stadiums.” The shock-announcement was delivered Tuesday, December

13, 2016 during a stakeholders meeting at Stade des Martyrs. According to Kambayi, the league management has not complied with guidelines on distribution of revenue from use

of stadiums, including fines from clubs whose fans wreak havoc in stadiums, and hence they cannot repair damages

caused. The “precautionary measure” has been taken pending further

consultations between the government and the football federation, FECOFA.

However, the move is viewed as political, and aimed at managing crowds, and averting potential violence as the country prepares for uncertain future with President Joseph Kabila’s second and last tenure coming to a close December 19th. The mineral rich country has in the past witnessed deadly demos against Kabila’s perceived unwillingness to hand over

power. The main opposition leader Moise Katumbi widely seen as

Kabila’s likely successor is also the president of 5-time African champions, and the current Confederations Cup holders TP Mazembe.