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Holland to become first major European league to cancel season due to Covid-19 crisis

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Hakim Ziyech in action for Ajax in the Europa League. Photo: Reuters

Hakim Ziyech in action for Ajax in the Europa League. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Hakim Ziyech in action for Ajax in the Europa League. Photo: Reuters

Holland's Eredivisie is set to become Europe's first high profile league to be cancelled, with a meeting on Friday almost certain to confirm the current season will not resume. 

After the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that no professional football will be permitted in the country until September at the earliest and the option of playing matches behind closed doors cut off as the government look to halt the spread of Covid-19, Dutch football chiefs confirmed they are preparing to bring the season to an end.

"That the events requiring a permit remain prohibited until 1 September creates clarity. Until then, no professional football is played, even without an audience," said a league in a statement.

"As a result, the board of professional football, which is formally about that, intends not to continue playing the league 19/20.

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"Based on the government's decision, 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.

"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 the courts from football disappearing. As in other parts of our economy, efforts are being made to protect industry as much as possible against the financial consequences of the current crisis."

After initially urging national associations not to cancel their domestic leagues, UEFA has confirmed that they will allow leagues to be cancelled 'in special circumstances', yet there remains an appetite in many European countries to return to action swiftly.

Germany's Bundesliga has made tentative plans to return next month, while the Spanish league are working on a plan that could see them resume their season in June.

England's Premier League clubs have made it clear that they intend to complete the season in matches that will be played behind-closed-doors, but that plan will rely on government support if it is to become a reality.

Online Editors