Forest Rangers blow chance to win maiden Zambian title

By Peter MusembiBBC Sport Africa
Zambian football fans
Zambian football fans had to make do with a shortened season due to the coronavirus pandemic

Nkana were crowned champions of the 2019-2020 Zambia Super League on Sunday without kicking a ball.

They officially clinched a 13th title, after thinking they had won it earlier in August, as the domestic season in the country ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Zambian league was initially put on hold due to Covid-19 in March and then resumed on 18 July but just three weeks later the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) decided to end it prematurely following a surge in infections among players and staff.

Forest Rangers missed the chance of winning a first ever title on Sunday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Zanaco in the final match of the season.

Sunday's game means that all the teams had played 27 times with Nkana Red Devils winning on goal difference ahead of Forest Rangers, with both teams locked on 50 points.

Rangers had been due to play Zanaco in their first match back from the suspension on but it was cancelled as 28 Forest Rangers' players and staff tested positive for the virus.

Initially Zanaco were awarded a three-point walkover for that match but Rangers won an appeal against that decision meaning the game had to be played after all.

The decision also meant that Nkana, who thought they had won the title when the league was halted, had to sit and wait to see if they would be denied by Forest Rangers.