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Dutch Eredivisie Cancelled Over Coronavirus Pandemic

Dutch Eredivisie Cancelled Over Coronavirus Pandemic

The Eredivisie – the top flight league in Holland – has been cancelled for the season with no title winner and no teams promoted or relegated following the coronavirus outbreak.

The move comes after the country’s government banned major events until 1 September.

Dutch football’s governing body the KNVB said “it has become impossible to play out the 2019-20 season”.

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The implication of the cancellation means Ajax who led the table from AZ Alkmaar on goal difference with nine games left will not be crowned champions.

The will be the first time since 1945 that there will be no Eredivisie champion.

Both Ajax and AZ Alkmaar will go into the Champions League qualifying stages, if ratified by Uefa.

No sides will be relegated or promoted, meaning Cambuur – who topped the second tier and held an 11-point gap between themselves and the play-off positions – will not go up.

The KNVB said: “Aware of the different visions and interests for the clubs, the KNVB is aware that whatever decision had to be made, every option would hurt somewhere.

“It will be crystal clear to everyone involved, from supporters and players to directors and referees, that public health always comes first.

“Nevertheless, the professional football board is aware that today’s decisions will cause great disappointment in football for some.”

Over 4,000 people have died so far from the coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The KNVB added that clubs could not be promoted from the second tier without relegating those from the top division, in order to ensure there was no fixture congestion next season.

The body said it consulted with the parties involved and asked them to vote for “no relegation and no promotion” or “relegation and promotion” – but the result returned “no clear preference”, resulting in the KNVB being left to take the decision.

It added: “Because many rounds still have to be played in the competitions, we believe that we cannot apply promotion/relegation and that is decided.”

Third-place Feyenoord will qualify for the Europa League group stages, with fourth-placed PSV and fifth-placed Willem II entering the qualifying stages of the competition, subject to Uefa’s approval.

The Eredivisie Women has also been cancelled without a champion being named, with a Champions League place being awarded to league leaders PSV, while second-placed Ajax enter the qualifying stages.

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