Netherlands: No champion will be declared, no teams promoted or relegated

The Dutch federation (KNVB) has ruled that no Eredivisie title will be awarded for the 2019-20 season after league play was halted in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dutch government extended the ban on gatherings of 100 or more people until Sept. 1, which ruled out playing games behind closed doors, as many other European leagues are considering to complete their seasons.

Defending champion Ajax and AZ were tied on points at the top of the standings with nine games to play, Ajax led on goal difference, which will be used to separate the teams in terms of their placement in next season's UEFA Champions League -- Ajax in the final round of the playoffs and AZ in the qualifying stage two rounds earlier.

“In these times, under these circumstances it is not appropriate to speak of a championship," said the KNVB in a statement. "Therefore, we only confirm the placing of the clubs as per the last standings."

The ruling leaves the Eredivisie without a champion for the first time since its launch in 1956. The only other time in the 132-year history of Dutch soccer that a champion wasn't declared was in 1944-45, the final year of World War II, when no championship was held.

Other European placements will be third-place Feyenoord in the Europa League group phase and fourth-place PSV and fifth-place Willem II in the Europa League preliminary rounds.

There will also be no promotion or relegation. In a vote of the clubs from the two pro leagues, ADO Den Haag and RKC kept their places in the Eredivisie. They were expected to be relegated and replaced by Cambuur and De Graafschap, the top two in the second-tier Eerste Divisie.
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