Edwin van der Sar: Ajax understand decision not to award them league trophy
Former Manchester United goalkeeper and Ajax Amsterdam’s general manager Edwin van der Sar. [Photo: Courtesy]

Former Manchester United goalkeeper and Ajax Amsterdam’s general manager Edwin van der Sar has said that Friday’s decision to not award the Dutch league title to ‘The Lancers’ was understandable.

Ajax were top of the standings with nine matches left to play when the season was formally brought to a premature halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first time since 1945 that there will be no champion in the Netherlands.

“As players and coaches, you want to win the title on the field.

“We have been top of the table throughout the season, so it is a pity we haven’t been able to become champion but given the situation we are in, it is understandable.

“There are a lot more important matters than football right now,” Edwin van der Sar told the club’s television channel on Friday.

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There will also be no promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie or relegation from the top flight.

The Dutch FA (KNVB) decided the way forward after a meeting with clubs and unions representing coaches and players on Friday.

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

However, Ajax and AZ Alkmaar will go into next season’s (2020/21) UEFA Champions League.

They were level on points (56) at the top of the standings with Ajax only ahead with goal difference.

Edwin van der Sar: Ajax understand decision not to award them league trophy
FILE PHOTO: Football – Europa League – Round of 32 Second Leg – Ajax Amsterdam v Getafe – Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands – February 27, 2020, Ajax players pose for a team group photo before the match. [File Photo]

Dutch clubs had been divided over whether to try and get the season back underway, as encouraged by UEFA, but that debate was ended when Prime minister Mark Rutte extended restrictions by three more months.

The Dutch FA was quick to follow Rutte’s address with a statement effectively calling off the rest of the 2019-20 campaign, although they said they would be consulting with UEFA before the final confirmation.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a complete shutdown of Europe’s top five football leagues in the world.

The virus, having originated from Wuhan in China in December last year, continues to also wreak havoc in other sports disciplines.

Football will not resume soon with no return date set amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to official numbers on Friday (24/04/2020), there are currently 2,807,490 coronavirus cases in the world with 195,812 succumbing to the deadly virus. 778,348 have recovered from Covid-19.

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