Eredivisie season cancelled and declared void
The Eredivisie has cancelled its season following the Dutch government’s decision to ban all sporting events until September 1. The Dutch league is the first major European league to void the football season.
KNVB cancels football season
The Dutch FA has cancelled the Eredivisie and declared the season void. The details of the decision were discussed between the KNVB and the top-flight clubs via a video call. The decision means that there will be no Eredivisie champion for the first time since 1944-1945 and no teams will be relegated or promoted from the lower leagues.
The KNVB released a statement which read: “Unfortunately, with the cabinet's most recent corona measures, it has become impossible to complete the 2019/2020 season of professional football competitions 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 KNVB had planned to resume the Eredivisie and the Eerste Divisie on June 19, albeit behind closed doors. UEFA has accepted that football associations and leagues across Europe have legitimate reasons to cancel domestic competitions.
What happens now?
The decision to cancel the football season has caused controversy in the Netherlands, specifically regarding the allocation of European competition spots. “The professional football board, after consulting clubs, players and coaches, and with the approval of the Supervisory Board, has decided to stop the 2019/20 competition and to allow the allocation of European club football seats based on the current league table,” the KNVB explained in its statement.
The KNVB must now formally notify UEFA which clubs they are nominating for participation in next season’s European competitions. The KNVB, and any other football associations that cancel their leagues prematurely, must explain their nominations to UEFA, who has reserved the right to refuse or evaluate admission to any club that has been nominated.
The Eredivisie has nominated first-placed Ajax to go to directly to the Champions League play-offs, while second-placed AZ will go into the second qualifying round. Feyenoord, who is currently sitting in third place, will go straight into the Europa League group stage. PSV and Willem II will go into the second Europa League qualifying round.
AZ was second in the Eredivisie table, joint with Ajax on points, and only behind the league-leaders on goal difference. The club has released a statement deriding the KNVB’s European nominations. “We have been trying for weeks in the background to elaborate multiple scenarios to prevent the situation we are now in," it said. UEFA still has to confirm the club nominations for European football.