Friday, December 3, 2021

#Liverpool Next? Dutch Eredivisie Declared Null And Void Because Of Coronavirus

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Ajax have been denied the Eredivisie title after the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte banned football until September due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Amsterdam giants were leading rivals AZ Alkmaar on goal difference before the league was suspended. The Dutch FA (KNVB) have now announced that their top-flight has been scrapped, with no promotion or relegation this season.

That sees ADO Den Haag and RKC Waalwijk remain in the Eredivisie, despite the latter team being 11 points from safety – the same number of points Cambuur were clear at the top of the second division.

The Dutch federation also confirmed that last year’s champions Ajax will not be awarded the title, the first time in the league’s 64-year history that there will be no designated winner.

But the 2019 Champions League semi-finalists will go into the last round of qualification for Europe’s premier competition. Second-place AZ will go into the second round of UCL qualification, while Feyenoord are sent into the group stage of the Europa League.

PSV Eindhoven have been confirmed to be among the names in the third round of Europa League qualification. While Willem II will controversially compete in the stage before them with the fifth-place side three points ahead of FC Utrecht having played a game more.

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The KNVB had initially planned to resume the suspended football season for its top two divisions behind closed doors in mid-June. Yet it has now been declared null and void following a three-month extension to the government ban was announced on Tuesday.

The drastic decision to finalise the table was made after Uefa asked the Dutch FA to maintain current standings in order to determine European spots. A club vote was also made after the federation confirmed that it was unable to increase the league by its 20 teams.

The move does pave the way for all outgoing players who were set to leave the Eredivisie, including Ajax star Hakim Ziyech who has agreed to join Chelsea, to move to their respective new clubs after June 30.

Dutch PM Rutte extended the ban on major public events by three months following the rise in coronavirus cases in the Netherlands to over 36,000, with the total deaths standing at 4,289.

Photo Credit: Getty

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