Nkana FC have been crowned the 2019/2020 Football Association of Zambia [FAZ] Super Division title, claiming an unprecedented 13th Zambian league title.
But the Kitwe giants had to wait for three days with bated breath to know their championship status after second placed Forest won a last minute appeal on the final day of the campaign for a walkover home loss to Zanaco that was replayed on August 9.
Forest had to eventually settle for a runners-up spot following a 0-0 home with sixth positioned Zanaco in the replay at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Sunday [9 August 2020].
The result saw Nkana edge Forest to the crown on goal difference, tied on 50 points from 27 matches, in a season that was shortened to two from nine games left following a surge in Covid-19 cases when the league resumed on July 18 from a four-month lockdown.
Nkana’s victory sees the pull away following on the honours list with four league titles more than the second most successful club Mufulira Wanderers who have nine wins. It is also Nkana’s first since 2013 in which period outgoing champions Zesco United and Zanaco had enjoyed a duopoly.
The outcome also ended eight-time champions Zesco’s three -year grip on the Zambian championship as they were bidding for an unprecedented fourth successive league title.
Zesco finished the season in unfamiliar territory at number five on 47 points and outside the top two for the first time since 2012. They also miss out of CAF Inter-Club qualification for the first time since 2013.
Meanwhile, third and fourth place classification, that guarantees CAF Confederation Cup qualification, goes to Green Eagles and Napsa Stars respectively who finished tied on 48 points.
This will be Forest debut CAF Inter-Club qualification while Napsa Stars earn their first continental berth since 1993 in the defunct CAF Cup in which they withdrew from before the preliminary stage.