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Dutch football association plans for league to resume on 19 June

The decision would keep the Dutch league in line with UEFA, which has warned teams risk exclusion from the next Champions League if their domestic competitions are ended prematurely.

Ajax Amsterdam players celebrate their 2-0 win over Schalke 04. Picture: Twitter/ @AFCAjax.

THE HAGUE - The Dutch football federation (KNVB) said on Tuesday it was hoping the top two divisions would restart on June 19 following their suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision would keep the Dutch league in line with UEFA, which has warned teams risk exclusion from the next Champions League if their domestic competitions are ended prematurely.

The KNVB revealed its plans during a video conference with professional clubs and other major stakeholders, although leading sides including Ajax, AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven have called for the season to be ended.

The Belgian league recommended last week the current season be declared finished early with the present table accepted as final, becoming the first European league to take such a measure.

"At the explicit request of the clubs, we have explained what it would look like if the RIVM (health authorities) and the government gave the green light to restart certain activities in the Netherlands," the KNVB said in a statement.

The proposed scenario "now supposes that the end of competitions are played in June and July, starting from June 19," it added, with tentative plans to resume training in mid-May.

In the Netherlands, all social gatherings are banned until June 1, including football matches. Schools, restaurants and bars will remain closed at least until April 28.

However, there is no lockdown like those in Italy, Spain, France or Belgium.

The Dutch government has said it will decide whether or not to extend the restrictions later this month. The KNVB indicated it would wait for further instructions from authorities before "being able to give more clarity".

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