Fixtures cancelled for Ajax benefit
The Dutch FA has cancelled a full weekend of top-flight fixtures before Ajax’s game against Tottenham to give them time to prepare.
Erik ten Hag’s side reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997 after beating Juventus in Turin on Tuesday evening.
They have won many plaudits this season for their bold, attacking style of play, evocative of the Johan Cruyff era of Dutch ‘Total Football’ in the 1970s.
Now, they have been given assistance by the KNVB, the equivalent of the FA, as all Eredivisie fixtures scheduled to be played the weekend of April 27 and 28 have been postponed in order to allow Ajax preparation time.
They were due to face De Graafschap on April 28, only two days before their trip Spurs for the first leg but now that game, as well as all other fixtures, are due to be played on May 15, subject to police approval.
Professional football director Eric Gudde admitted not all teams were happy with the idea, but it was a necessary move in order to aid Ajax’s bid to win the Champions League for the first time since 1995.
‘We are aware that it is impossible to satisfy everyone, but a knot must be made,’ he said.
‘There can be no question of full satisfaction because this is ultimately not pleasant for any of the people involved.
What is really nice is the reason why this was necessary: the semi-final place of Ajax in the Champions League.’