Dutch League likely to be cancelled

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The Dutch Football Association has admitted the season was effectively ended on Tuesday after the government extended a ban on major public events by three months.

In a statement, the country’s FA, the KNVB, said it would not continue efforts to try to complete the 2019-20 campaign, but would first consult with UEFA, which has been pushing member countries to try to finish their seasons.

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, banned events including professional sports and music festivals until September 1 this year to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

The KNVB statement said: “No professional football can be played, even without an audience, until September 1. As a result, the board of professional football intends not to continue playing the 2019-20 league.

“Based on the government’s decision today, the KNVB will consult with Uefa after which a decision will be confirmed. On Friday, the clubs and other parties involved will meet to discuss the consequences.”

Friday’s meeting is set to clarify whether the season will be cancelled, leaving all results and league positions null and void, or whether prizes will be handed out for the campaign will be handed out based on results to date.

The latter prospect appears unlikely given the tightness of the Eredivisie table, where Ajax are top but on the same number of points – 56 from 25 matches – as second-placed AZ Alkmaar.

The Dutch follow neighbours Belgium, who had already cancelled their season, but ran into criticism from Uefa, who warned them they may not be able to enter clubs in next season’s European competitions.

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The Guardian

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