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Dutch put league games on ice before Ajax face Spurs


Ajax’s Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek (C) and teammates celebrate defeating Juventus at the end of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match Juventus vs Ajax Amsterdam on April 16, 2019 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

The Dutch football federation Friday postponed all premier league games ahead of Ajax’s Champions League semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, saying players “needed at least two full rest days between games.”

The Amsterdam club was set to meet the eastern Dutch club De Graafschap on April 28 in their next Eredivisie clash and then play Spurs on April 30 in London in the first leg of their European last-four clash.

“Two games in three days are not possible. There has to be two full rest days between two games,” the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) said in a statement.

All games have now been postponed until May 12 and 15, the KNVB said, with “all hosting clubs having received permission from their local authorities.”

The KNVB said the step was taken because of concerns over players and not to give Ajax a competitive advantage over Spurs.

Ajax’s dream to play a coveted Champions League final took another leap forward earlier this week after beating Juventus 2-1 in Turin and winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Tuesday’s victory means they have played 16 games in this season’s competition, losing only once, at home to defending champions Real Madrid in the last round. They responded with a memorable 4-1 second-leg victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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