CODVID19: Eredivisie cancelled because of pandemic

Ajax players celebrate

 

 

The Eredivisie has brought its season to an end early due to the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that there will be no promotion or relegation.

The KNVB confirmed on Friday following a vote between all clubs that Ajax would not be crowned champions despite sitting top of the league, level on points with AZ Alkmaar, and there would be no promotion or relegation.

The decision means RKC Waalwijk and ADO Den Haag, who were both sat in the relegation zone when the league was suspended, will not go down – with SC Cambuur and De Graafschap not being promoted.

 

 

 

 

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It comes after prime minister Mark Rutte banned professional football in the country until September.

The decision means that there will be no promotion or relegation and that Ajax, who currently sit top of the Eredivisie, will not be crowned champions.

The Eredivisie becomes the first major European league to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was announced earlier in the week that the top flight “intends not to continue” after the national government extended a ban on all major sporting events in the Netherlands.

And official confirmation of that came on Friday (April 24).

There is the matter of European places to decide, though, however that’s already been worked out.

Ajax, currently in first place on goal difference, will go into the last round of qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Second-placed AZ Alkmaar will go into the second round of qualification for the competition while Feyenoord will go into the group stage of the Europa League.

PSV and Willem II will both enter the Europa League in the qualification rounds.

The final standings in the Eredivisie for the 2019/20 season are as follows:

1 – Ajax
2 – AZ
3 – Feyenoord
4 – PSV
5 – Willem
6 – Utrecht
7 – Vitesse
8 – Heracles
9 – Groningen
10 – Heerenveen
11 – Sparta Rotterdam
12 – FC Emmen
13 – VVV
14 – Twente
15 – PEC Zwolle
16 – Fortuna Sittard
17 – Den Haag
18 – RKC Waalwijk

“Based on the government’s decision, the KNVB will consult with Uefa, after which the decision will be taken,” a KNVB statement said, per BBC Sport.

“The KNVB has not yet definitively cancelled competitions because of financial difficulties in the football industry due to the corona crisis.”

Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan told BBC World Service: “It’s a massive blow for all the professional clubs at the highest level.

“The Eredivisie was hoping they could resume. But we know it is impossible to organise matches with fans and the prime minister says it is not wise to do it without fans.”

More than 4,000 people have died so far from the coronavirus in the Netherlands.

The Eredivisie has never ended a season without a champion being named since it was formed in 1956.

The KNVB added that clubs could not be promoted from the second tier without relegation 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.

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