Wednesday's soccer news starts with the Eredivisie likely having no choice but to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 season. The clubs already proposed a motion to cancel, but now the Dutch government has banned major events until September 1. The Dutch Federation made it clear in a statement that they aren't looking for ways to complete the schedule. Instead, they would call an end to the season as it stands.
"The fact that football cannot be played until September 1 brings enormous challenges in organizational, sports, and economic terms," the statement read. "We frequently discuss this with the government, clubs, interest groups, and experts. Together we look at the possible next steps for football in the 1.5 meter society. Together we discuss how we can organize football in the further future and how to make it corona proof."
UEFA's insistence that domestic leagues wait to officially cancel the season seems to have ebbed. European soccer's governing body released a statement following a meeting with the federations. "There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions, although it is understood that there may be some special cases. With this in mind, UEFA is currently developing some guidelines concerning participation in its club competitions, in order to assist its member associations in case of a canceled league or cup.
Belgium was the first domestic league to end. Scotland called time on the lower divisions with the expectation that the Premier League would follow. The Eredivisie ending early had the support of AZ, a club tied on points at the top of the table with Ajax who would win the league on goal difference +45 to +37. The Eredivisie decides a Europa League place through a postseason playoff system between the 4th through 7th place teams. There's also a relegation playoff between the 16th-place team and the 3rd through 8th-place teams in the First Division. As things stand, 17th-place ADO Den Haag and 18th-place Waalwijk would drop to the First Division replaced by Cambuur and De Graafschap. The KNVB has indicated they will work with UEFA to decide what happens with the tables.
Ajax released a statement calling the decision "inevitable" while underlining that there's still no decision on what canceling the season will mean for the table. That's the competitive question that could take hold across Europe's domestic leagues with some arguing that it's unfair from a competitive standpoint to declare champions while relegating and promoting clubs.
Should the Scottish Premier League also officially end its season, there's the potential for other European leagues to decide that it's not feasible to resume their seasons. That's the knock-on effect that initially led UEFA to threaten leagues that ended early with suspension from European competitions. SI.com's Avi Creditor looks at UEFA's position on leagues ending their 2019-20 seasons.
On the other end of the discussion is the Bundesliga pushing to become the first league to restart. Their May 9 target date is still in place, even with criticism from some medical experts. Germany partially reopened, starting with small stores earlier this week. DW has some supporters not enthusiastic about the Bundesliga's plan to restart its season.
BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin and Chris McLaughlin report that Aberdeen is pushing to see if the Scottish Premier League season can resume. The Daily Mail's Tom Collomosse reports that England's third and fourth divisions may regionalize.
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Logo courtesy of the Eredivisie