Eredivisie kan niet zomaar stoppen: UEFA dreigt met sancties

Het hoofdkantoor van de UEFA in Nyon. Foto: EPA

De eredivisie kan niet zomaar worden stopgezet. De UEFA heeft alle clubs en bonden gisteren een brief gestuurd waarin het zich uitspreekt tegen het voortijdig beëindigen van de nationale voetbalcompetities.

De UEFA roept niet alleen op om het seizoen indien mogelijk af te maken, maar dreigt ook met sancties. Zo kan deelname aan de Europese toernooien mogelijk worden verboden.

De Pro League, waarin de Belgische profclubs verzameld zijn, meldde gisteren de competitie als beëindigd te willen beschouwen. Datzelfde deed in Nederland Ajax-directeur Marc Overmars, gevolgd door tal van andere clubs waaronder PSV en AZ.

Competitie stopgezet

,,Op 17 maart is in overleg met alle Europese clubs en competities beslist dat al het mogelijke gedaan moet worden om nationale en Europese competities te beëindigen zoals het hoort”, stelt de UEFA. ,,Deelname aan een UEFA-competitie wordt bepaald door sportieve resultaten aan het einde van een volledige nationale competitie. Wanneer een competitie stopgezet wordt, zullen we bekijken of aan die voorwaarde wel voldaan is.”

Opvallend is dat de brief ook is ondertekend door de ECA, de verenigde Europese topclubs, waarin Edwin van der Sar ook zitting heeft. De directeur van Ajax pleit er in Nederland juist keihard voor om  de eredivisie per direct te stoppen.

De brief van de UEFA

Nyon, 2 April 2020,

Dear member associations,

Dear member leagues,

Dear member clubs,

The current health crisis caused by the spread of covid-19 has no precedents in our society and, on top of the threat posed to public health, which is the uncontested number one priority, it has dramatically hit all industries and economic sectors. Football is no exception and since several weeks now all our competitions, both at domestic and European level, have been forced to suspension.

In such a serious scenario, European football has nonetheless been capable of reacting as one united family. The common standpoint struck on 17 March by UEFA, the European Club Association and the European Leagues was that every effort had to be made in order to allow all domestic and European competitions to be concluded in compliance with their formats. It is of paramount importance that even a disruptive event like this epidemic does not prevent our competitions from being decided on the field, in accordance with their rules and that all sporting titles are awarded on the basis of results. As responsible leaders in our sport, this is what we must ensure, until the last possibility exists and whilst planning, operational and regulatory solutions are available.

We walk united in the awareness that only an extraordinary coordinated effort of all competition organisers can help European football out of the crisis, recovering in full its core asset, the competitions. With no unity and no solidarity, nobody will be able to get out of the crisis as we are all interdependent.

Such commitment has taken concrete shape in two joint working groups established to deal with calendar options as well as with the legal, regulatory and financial consequences of a potential calendar overstretch that would make the 2019/20 competitions spill over 30 June.

The working groups have held several meetings and are in daily contact to ensure that the overriding objective of taking all competitions to their natural end is met. In order to achieve it, concrete plans are being drawn up. Their work is now focusing on scenarios encompassing the months of July and August, including the possibility that the UEFA competitions restart after the completion of domestic leagues. A joint management of calendars is strictly required as the conclusion of the current season must be coordinated with the start of the new one, which may be partly impacted because of the overstretch.

Closely following the development of the current situation, the calendar working group will indicate as soon as possible, and ideally by mid-May, which of the plans can be enacted for the completion of the season without leaving anyone behind. Stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.

We are confident that football can restart in the months to come – with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities - and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified. Since participation in UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result achieved at the end of a full domestic competition, a premature termination would cast doubts about the fulfilment of such condition. UEFA reserves the right to assess the entitlement of clubs to be admitted to the 2020/21 UEFA club competitions, in accordance with the relevant applicable competition regulations.

We know how much you share with us the core values of our sport and feel your support in our mission to protect the integrity of its competitions. We call on all and everyone to loyally back our joint endeavours in the collective interest of European football and trust your representatives in the working group.

With our gratitude, yours sincerely.

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President 

Andrea Agnelli, ECA Chairman

Lars-Christer Olsson, EL President

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