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Eredivisie - No professional football in Netherlands until 1 September

  • KNVB statement follows national government extending ban on major events
  • No professional football to be played, even without an audience
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Dutch football’s governing body KNVB has confirmed that no professional football will be played in the Netherlands until 1 September. The move comes after the national government extended a ban on major events because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch Football Association said in a statement “that the events requiring a permit remain prohibited until 1 September creates clarity. Until then, no professional football is played, even without an audience. 

As a result, the board of professional football intends not to continue playing the league 2019/20.”

Ajax and AZ Alkmaar are leading the Eredivisie level on points after 26 matches with Ajax ahead on goal difference. The decision means the Dutch top flight is likely to be cancelled which could have major repercussions for other leagues in Europe.

Earlier on Tuesday, UEFA said some European leagues could be cancelled “in special cases” because of the pandemic.

“Based on the government's decision today, the KNVB will consult with UEFA. After which the decision is made. On Friday, the clubs and other parties involved will meet to discuss the consequences” the KNVB statement continued.

The future of clubs is the main concern of the KNVB. “That the KNVB has not yet definitively cancelled the interrupted competitions, is mainly because the professional football industry has come into financial difficulties due to the corona crisis. 

Attempts are made to prevent clubs from falling over and from football disappearing. As in other parts of our economy, efforts are being made to protect an industry as much as possible against the financial consequences of the current crisis."

Eredivisie clubs will discuss the possibility of resuming training “under strict conditions” to allow players to train.

“It’s a massive blow for all the professional clubs at the highest level,” Dutch football journalist Marcel Van Der Kraan told BBC World Service.

“The Eredivisie was hoping they could resume. But we know it is impossible to organise matches with fans and the Prime Minister says it is not wise to do it without fans.”
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