AZ want Ajax’s place in Champions League group phase

When the KNVB cancelled the rest of the Dutch season, after it had been suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ajax were leading AZ in the standings on goal difference.
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Ajax Amsterdam v Valencia - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - December 10, 2019 Ajax Amsterdam players pose for a team group photo before the match(REUTERS)
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Ajax Amsterdam v Valencia - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - December 10, 2019 Ajax Amsterdam players pose for a team group photo before the match(REUTERS)
Updated on May 26, 2020 09:17 AM IST
Copy Link
Amsterdam | ByReuters

AZ Alkmaar have written to UEFA as they want the governing body to overturn the Dutch football association’s (KNVB) decision to award Ajax Amsterdam the country’s sole automatic berth in the group phase of next season’s Champions League.

When the KNVB cancelled the rest of the Dutch season, after it had been suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ajax were leading AZ in the standings on goal difference.

That prompted the KNVB to award Ajax the automatic Champions League spot normally reserved for the Dutch champions, while AZ would have to try and qualify for a lucrative spot through the preliminary knockout rounds.

The Netherlands is one of a handful of European countries to abort the rest of the season after the country went into lockdown due to the pandemic. As a result, no title was awarded and no team was relegated.

AZ believe they should have been made the top placed team as they had beaten Ajax both home and away in the league this season.

“Goal difference is no objective differentiator,” the club wrote to UEFA, several media reported.

But the KNVB said it did not plan to change its decision.

“UEFA has informed the KNVB and referred AZ to us,” KNVB spokesman Jaap Paulsen said on Monday.

“We have informed AZ that nothing has changed. We decided the places in European club competition next season on the basis of three criteria: transparency, objectivity and sportsmanship. We are keeping the rankings and Ajax is number one.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, December 01, 2021