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No winner, no relegation in Dutch League

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As result of coronavirus pandemic, which has halted activities including sports across the globe; The Eredivisie, the top tier of football in the Netherlands has been cancelled for the season with no title winner and no team relegated.

The move comes after the national government banned major events until September 1, 2020 because of coronavirus. Dutch football governing body, the KNVB said “it has become impossible to play out the 2019-20 season.”

According to KNVB, although Ajax currently top the league table ahead of AZ Alkmaar on goal difference with nine games left, it will not be named champions. It added that 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 over the play-off positions – will not go up,” 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,” it added.
Cambuur head coach, Henk de John told broadcaster NOS the decision felt “like the biggest disgrace in the history of Dutch sport.”

Over 4,000 people have died so far from the coronavirus in the Netherlands. The KNVB further stated 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.

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

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. Meanwhile, a Champions League place has awarded to league leaders PSV, while second-placed Ajax enter the qualifying stages.


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