Europe watching as Dutch league expected to be called off



Football authorities around Europe are watching with interest as the Dutch league heads towards a decision not to continue 2019/20.

The Netherlands government has extended a ban on major events until at least September 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the KNVB, the Dutch football governing body, will now consult with Uefa after confirming in a statement an intention to draw a line under this season. Ajax are currently top by virtue of goal difference, with AZ Alkmaar level on points after 26 games.

The Belgian Pro League has postponed its decision to call off the final 11 matches of its campaign and crown Club Brugge as champions. It is expected to be ratified next Monday.

The KNVB statement said: “Based on the government’s decision, the KNVB will consult with Uefa, after which the decision will be taken.

“The KNVB has not yet definitively cancelled competitions because of financial difficulties in the football industry due to the corona crisis.”

Uefa are expected to push back the Euro 2020 qualifiers to October and November, after the Nations League which is still planned for September.

That, of course, will affect Michael O’Neill, whose Northern Ireland team are due to take on Bosnia, with the winners facing either Slovakia or Republic of Ireland to reach the finals.

O’Neill has previously made it clear it would be difficult to juggle two jobs through all parts of the season.

Clubs have returned to training in Portugal – with a rule that players must stay 10 metres apart.

Sporting Lisbon, however, have told Stoke City flop Jese to stay away entirely, prematurely ending his loan from Paris St-Germain.





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