Burundi’s Ligue A becomes the first soccer action to resume in the post-coronavirus period in Africa as Musongati welcome Athletico Olympic on May 21.
Burundi was also the last African country to suspend their leagues when they took the initiative on April 13. In Ligue 1, three matches had remained before the season could have ended and there are huge possibilities now the competition will be concluded in a natural manner.
14 of 16 teams had played 27 matches with Musongati and Athletico Olympic the only sides to have engaged in 26 matches.
When the Burundi Football Federation (BFF) announced May 21 as the official date of football return, it set out strict guidelines that fans have to follow in order to be allowed into the stadium.
Such guidelines included taking temperature tests and sanitizing hands before every match outside the stadiums.
Musongati, second on the log with 51 points, will welcome Athlético Olympic, 11th with 34 points at Ingoma Stadium, becoming the first match to be staged in the continent after the coronavirus-related suspension.
It will be the only match for the day.
On May 30, BFF has scheduled four matches as Kayanzi United would host Les Lierres, Ngozi City will face off with Rukinzo as Inter Star play host to Vital’O.
Flambeau du Centre vs Aigle Noir will be another match that fans will enjoy on March 30 as both sides are set to fight to replace the other on the table.
Aigle Noir are fourth while Flambeau du Centre are sixth but both have 41 points with the latter enjoying a +8-goal difference as at the time the competition was halted mid-last month.
All matches will kick-off at 16:30 EAT.
On May 31, four matches have been scheduled with Le Messager Ngozi’s home match against Dynamik expected to be the highlight of the day’s actions.
Although a loss to Dynamik will not affect Le Messager Ngozi’s table position, the fact they are the first and third-placed teams makes it a tough tie altogether.
Bumamuru vs Olympic Star, Athletico Olympic vs Bujumbura City and Musongati vs Lydia Ludic will be the other matches and all will also start at 16:30 EAT.
The resumption of action offers Lydia Lucic, Ngozi City and Les Lierres, who are occupying the last three positions, a lifeline to fight and possibly save their positions in Ligue 1.
BFF’s decision to restart competitions is in contrast to what their regional fellows – the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) – have done to their leagues.
FKF cancelled the leagues in their country, declared champions, promoted and demoted some teams in a clear script implemented by Fufa on May 20.
Rwanda is expected to communicate how they intend to conclude their competitions by the end of May while the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) is in the process of restarting their leagues, a move that has the blessings of the government.