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Monday, 30 March 2020

Dutch league game plan riles Feyenoord fans: report

AFP , Saturday 20 Apr 2019
Ajax
Ajax's player's beat Juventus to earn a Champions League semifinal against Tottenham and a rest from the Dutch league (Photo: AFP)
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A decision by the Dutch football federation to postpone all premier league games ahead of Ajax's Champions League clash against Tottenham was criticised Saturday as having "broad and far-reaching consequences."

The Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) announced the postponement Friday, saying the gap between a local Eredivisie game and the game against Spurs did not give Ajax players enough time to recover.

"But what was supposed to ease things in actual fact has led to wide-spread discontent," popular daily tabloid De Telegraaf reported.

"The small tweak of the game schedule will have broad and far-reaching consequences, particularly for Feyenoord," the paper said.

Dutch football great and Feyenoord forward Robin van Persie will now play his farewell game away against 14th-placed Fortuna Sittard.

This means that Feyenoord will have to be content with saying goodbye to Van Persie at Sittard's 12,500-capacity stadium in southern Limburg, as opposed to its home ground at De Kuip in Rotterdam.

De Kuip is one of Dutch football's most iconic stadiums and seats 51,000 fans.

It is also the last game for Feyenoord manager and former Dutch international and skipper Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the paper said.

"Van Persie had an incredible career. Gio is one of the most successful managers ever," Feyenoord fan Sander de Kramer told the paper.

"Now they'll be in Sittard, waving at a small group of travelling supporters. It's a bit different that standing in a packed De Kuip," Kramer said.

"And that's painful," he said.

Ajax were set to meet eastern Dutch club De Graafschap on April 28 in an Eredivisie match and then play Spurs on April 30 in London in the first leg of their European last-four clash.

All hosting Eredivisie teams were given permission by local authorities Friday to postpone the 33rd leg of the Eredivisie until May 12 and 15.

The KNVB said the step was taken because of concerns over players, not to give Ajax a competitive advantage over Spurs.

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