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No Relegation, No Winner! Dutch FA Cancel Football Season


The Dutch Eredivisie season has been ended with immediate effect, and there will be no winner or relegation.

Ajax were top of the Eredivisie table, ahead of AZ Alkmaar on goal difference, with nine rounds of matches to play when the season was suspended.

“As a player and as a club you naturally want to become champion”, Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said.

“You want to show it on the field and we have been at the top all year round. Then it is a pity that you are not declared champion, but in this situation that may be understandable. There are more important things at the moment than football.”

The Eredivisie has put Ajax forward to go directly to the play-offs of the Champions League, with AZ playing in the second qualifying round. Third-placed Feyenoord go straight into the group stage of the Europa League with PSV and Willem II qualifying for the second qualifying round for the competition.

But AZ have released a statement saying they are considering their options after indicating displeasure with the judgement, particularly in relation to the awarding of European places.

“We have been trying for weeks in the background to elaborate multiple scenarios to prevent the situation we are now in,” the statement read.

“AZ asked Friday afternoon, just as with promotion/relegation, to first investigate support for the exact method of implementation – but the KNVB immediately rejected this.

“The KNVB asked that support Friday afternoon when it comes to the decision for promotion/relegation. We are considering this situation.”

The settlement of places for European competition next season is subject to ratification by UEFA.

Ajax say they abstained from a vote on promotion and relegation and will attempt to help other clubs suffering financially because of the coronavirus crisis.

A KNVB statement read: “Unfortunately, with the cabinet’s most recent corona measures, it has become impossible to complete the 2019/2020 season of professional football competitions in time – it will be crystal clear to everyone involved, from supporters and players to directors and referees, that public health always comes first.

“The professional football board, after consulting clubs, players and coaches, and with the approval of the Supervisory Board, has decided to stop the 2019/20 competition and to allow the allocation of European club football seats based on the current league table.

“This is in accordance with UEFA guidelines. In relation to promotion and demotion, it has been decided not to promote and not to be demoted.”

The Dutch FA said earlier this week it is not intending to continue the 2019-20 season after a government ban on events was extended until September 1.

The KNVB had initially planned to resume the suspended football season for the top two divisions on June 19, behind closed doors.

But a three-month extension to the government ban was announced on Tuesday – meaning the season looked all but over, pending consultation with UEFA