May 15 – On Thursday, Cambuur Leeuwarden and De Graafschap Doetinchem had their dreams of promotion to the Eredivisie quashed by a Dutch judge, who dismissed their claim that they should go up.
The Netherlands abandoned their season following the outbreak of the coronavirus, becoming the first European top-tier team to end the season early. Neighboring Belgium has been dragging its feet over its plans to no longer complete a final stretch of domestic matches.
As a result, Ajax Amsterdam were denied the Dutch league title and the two top teams in the second-tier league suffered a similar fate when it came to promotion to the topflight.
On April 24, the two clubs filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the decision of the Dutch FA, (KNVB) but a judge ruled that the KNVB’s decision was justified because of the exceptional circumstances. The ruling of judge Hans Zuurmond was live-streamed and he said that the FA “had to take a decision with its back to the wall. Doing nothing was not an option.”
He added: “It is bitter for Cambuur and De Graafschap, but that is not enough to overturn the decision.”
“The promotion-relegation scheme states that promotion only applies at the end of a regular competition. Since the competition ended nine games before the end, this is out of the question,” the court said.
The three parties have the right to appeal the decision.
“I’m completely convinced that our solution is the best solution,” said KNVB director Eric Gudde, even though he admitted that it was “a bad day with bad feelings because in every situation someone is very unsatisfied and I understand their feeling.”
Utrecht has also indicated that it will take legal action against the KNVB decision because in its view the club has been stripped of Europa League action next season.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1591098204labto1591098204ofdlr1591098204owedi1591098204sni@o1591098204fni1591098204