Eredivisie cancels 2019-20 season with no title-winner
The 2019-20 season in the Netherlands has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with leaders Ajax denied the league title and no relegation from the Eredivisie and no promotion from the second tier.
The Dutch government extended a ban on major public events by three months recently, leading to the cancellation of the season. Ajax were top-level on 56 points with AZ Alkmaar but ahead on goal difference, while Feyenoord were six points further back with nine matches to spare.
The Dutch Football Association statement read: “Unfortunately, with the cabinet’s most recent coronavirus measures, it has become impossible to play out the 2019-20 season of professional football leagues 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 decision made about the settlement of the running competitions are only a football problem in the perspective of what the coronavirus causes in society.”
“Nevertheless, the professional football board is aware that the decision will cause great disappointment in football for some.” Edwin Van Der Sar, who is the general manager of Ajax said he understood the decision to not award a league champion for the first time since 1945.
He also acknowledged the fact that at this moment there are other things that are more important than football. However, RKC Waalwijk have been handed a reprieve along with ADO Den Haag.
Cambuur and De Graafschap will have to be a part of the second division again despite being on course for promotion to the top flight, with the former 11 points clear before the cancellation.
Henk de Jong, the Cambuur boss was disgusted with the decision and called it the ‘greatest disgrace from Dutch sports ever’.
Ajax will be a part of the Champions League next season while AZ Alkmaar will start from the preliminary rounds. Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven and Willem Tilburg, who take the next three spots, would compete in the Europa League.
featured image credits- twitter.com