The Dutch Eredivisie's season has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A conference call between the Dutch FA (KNVB) and clubs was held on Friday before the league was declared null and void, de Telegraaf reports. Official word came on Friday afternoon. No champion will be crowned and there won't be any promotion and relegation.
Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were at the top of the standings with the same amount of points (56) when the season was called, but Ajax held a better goal differential. Champions League and Europa League spots are going to be allocated based on the current league table, which means Ajax goes to the Champions League playoff round, AZ Alkmaar goes to the second qualifying round and Feyenoord, PSV and Willem enter the Europa League, assuming UEFA approves.
On Thursday,for how leagues could handle their European qualification spots should their seasons not be completed, though the expectation appeared to be for seasons to continue at some point, in some fashion. Options included restarting with a different format to determine who would qualify based on "sporting merit."
This marks the first time since World War II that a champion was not named in the Dutch top flight and just the second time since 1920. ADO The Hague and RKC Waalwijk were both on pace to be relegated after this season but get to remain in the first division as a result
The coronavirus pandemic saw the league suspended on March 12 as the country's government ban on sporting events. The government extended it multiple times, and this week, Dutch prime minster Mark Rutte banned all events until Sept. 1 with or without crowds, making an Eredivisie return impossible. The biggest leagues in Europe have been open about trying to get underway in May or during the summer, though the Dutch federation's hand was forced by the government's decision.
The German Bundesliga could return as early as May 9, with a possible government decision coming on April 30. La Liga teams are expected to return to training in early May as they aim to play later in the month or in early June.
Summer competitions such as Euro 2020 and Copa America have been postponed, giving clubs more time to finish their seasons, but the Dutch league won't be one of them.
This decision wouldn't directly impact the fate of this season's Champions League or Europa League as no Dutch teams are alive in either competition.