Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced no professional football will be played in the country until at least September 1, which could signal the end of this season’s Eredivisie.
The football calendar has been decimated recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and it remains to be seen when players across the globe will return to action.
But on Tuesday, Rutte hinted that the Eredivisie season is almost certain to be cancelled after announcing that organised events remain banned until the beginning of September as they look to stop the spread of coronavirus.
No professional football will be played in Holland until September 1 at the earliest
‘This is the maximum we can do at the moment,’ Rutte said at a press conference. ‘In particular, relaxing the social distancing rules too quickly will lead to a second wave of infections which needs to be averted.
‘These are difficult considerations but it’s a question of better safe than sorry. We have to be very cautious.’
Rutte went on to admit that the decision to extend the ban on organised events until four months and 10 days time, was because ‘we can’t cope with the risks.’
The mayors of major cities had already stated their intentions to stop any football being played again before September, but now the government have officially confirmed this.
Mark Rutte (pictured) announced organised events would remain banned until September 1
‘This means no professional football until September 1,’ the Prime Minister announced. ‘We cannot avoid having to make this sacrifice.’
The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) will now have to assess the situation and declare what this means in regards to the remainder of the Eredivisie campaign.
If the Eredivisie season was to be cancelled, it would follow the Belgian top-flight in declaring the campaign over.
The Belgian top-flight broke ranks from the rest of Europe and called an immediate end to the 2019-20 campaign with just one match of the regular season to go before the play-offs, which usually determine the championship winner and the Europa League places.
The Eredivisie season is almost certain to be cancelled following the latest announcement
Furthermore on Tuesday, UEFA opened the door to domestic league and cup competitions being cancelled ‘in special cases’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The national member associations of European football’s governing body gathered for a conference call on Tuesday for an update on ‘a variety of calendar options’ to complete the 2019-20 season.
‘There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions, but some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions – in case of a cancelled league – have been developed,’ a statement from UEFA read.