Pause DR Congo suspends top-flight football over violence fears

  • Published:
Local football players follow a match from the bench in Beni, DR Congo play

Local football players follow a match from the bench in Beni, DR Congo

24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended its top-flight football league for one month over fears of match violence, the sports minister said Wednesday, amid high political tensions.

"The suspension of the national football championship from December 15 to January 14 (is justified by fears of) pitch invasions (or) stone throwing" during the match, Youth and Sports Minister Denis Kambayi told AFP, warning of "provocation".

"The clubs' leaders seem to be overwhelmed by the task of controlling supporters," he added, referring to recent clashes between supporters and police in the Congolese capital Kinshasa.

In May 2014, at least 15 people were killed in violence following a top-flight fixture.

In recent months supporters of local clubs and the national side have used fixtures to sing chants against long-time President Joseph Kabila, such as "yebela!"("watch out!") and "mandat esili" ("your mandate is over").

Kabila triggered a political crisis in October by agreeing a deal with a fringe opposition group that effectively lets him extend his hold on power for at least another year. He would otherwise have been due to step down next week.

More than 50 people died in September protests against Kabila's rule, leading authorities to ban all political protest in Kinshasa until January.

Kabila, 45, first took office in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent-Desire Kabila and a 2006 constitutional provision limited the presidency to two terms.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos

Top Articles

1 Dauda Mohammed Ex-Kotoko striker bags brace for Anderlechtbullet
2 Real Madrid These are the matches Cristiano Ronaldo will missbullet
3 Photos Michael Essien signs $500,000 deal with Adidasbullet
4 Pre-season Kevin-Prince Boateng's goal wins trophy for Las Palmasbullet
5 Hot Athletes Ghanaian sportsmen who look tastier than your...bullet
6 Finally Usain Bolt to play for Manchester Unitedbullet
7 Athletics Usain Bolt targets football career after retirementbullet
8 Big Rivalry Ten most controversial moments of Cristiano...bullet
9 English Premier League Diego Costa fined £300,000 by...bullet
10 Ghanaian Players Abroad Andre Ayew, Amartey and...bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Actor eyes Black Star coaching job after entering into coachbullet
2 Video Watch how Galatasaray beat Asamoah Gyan's Kayserispor 4-1bullet
3 Video Watch the greatest goal in Premier League historybullet
4 Video Watch skills of new Levante signing Emmanuel Boatengbullet
5 Video Watch David Accam & Latif Blessing score in the MLSbullet
6 Video Ghanaian footballer refuses to tell police why he...bullet
7 Video Lukaku scores as Manchester Uniter beat City in...bullet
8 Video Look inside Asamoah Gyan's $1m luxurious Mercedes Benzbullet
9 Video Did referee Gagba make right penalty call?bullet
10 Video Watch how Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1...bullet