Ajax star Hakim Ziyech has slammed the Dutch Football Federation’s decision not to award his side the title after the Eredivisie was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
Both Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were level on points at the top of the Holland top flight, with the two sides still having 11 games to play.
But club chief executive Edwin van der Sar has labelled the sensational course of action as ‘understandable’, despite the widespread anger at the scrapping of the campaign.
Hakim Ziyech slammed the Dutch Football Federation’s decision not to award Ajax the title
Neither of the Dutch giants, despite topping the standings, will be crowned champions after the governing body brought a premature end to the season – and promotion and relegation have also been axed.
Chelsea-bound Ziyech revealed his fury after Ajax were denied another title, and insisted that last season’s Champions League semi-finalists should have been handed the glory due to their superior goal difference.
‘Come on, what nonsense I have heard?’ he told Dutch outlet AD.
‘We are at the top anyway. All those stories that AZ deserved more because they defeated us twice.
Holland’s top-flight Eredivisie agreed to scrap the season and the title will now be left vacant
Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were level on points at the top of the table but neither will be champions
‘So the goal difference, as it always is, doesn’t count now? Bullsh*t of course. How did PSV become champion in 2007? Exactly, on one goal.
‘That we are not official champions, well. Of course, I would also have preferred to have won the title on the field, but if you have to choose one club as champion, that is Ajax to me.’
However, former Manchester United and Fulham stalwart Van der Sar has admitted that Ajax’s setback does not surprise him.
But Ajax chief executive Edwin Van der Sar labelled the sensational action as ‘understandable’
‘As a player you want to become champion and you want to become champion on the pitch,’ Var der Sar told Ajax’s official YouTube channel. ‘We have been number one in the rankings all season so it’s a pity there’s no champion. But given the circumstances it’s very understandable.
‘There are far more important issues than football, but as a player you always have the ambition to become champion.’
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has banned professional football until September in the face of the current health emergency, but the decision may spark legal challenges from several teams.
FC Utrecht have already announced that their intention to take legal action after they were denied a Europa League spot.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte (pictured) said organised events would remain banned until September 1
The KNVB’s decision may have surprised clubs, who had largely voted in favour of enabling promotion and relegation despite not finishing the season.
16 teams voted to allow their competitors to move into different leagues for next term, but a further nine sides voted against the measure.
A further nine clubs abstained from the vote entirely and believed that the Dutch FA should decide.
Cambuur – who were 11 points clear at the top of the second tier – will cruelly miss out on a return to the Eredivisie after three seasons away.