Dutch FA postpone Ajax's league fixtures ahead of Champions League clash with Tottenham
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The Dutch side will have a whole weekend off to prepare for their all important fixture agaisnt Spurs.
The Champions League this season have been a roller coaster ride with several ebbs and flows and the biggest surprise package among all the teams are definitely Ajax. Their 2-1 win over Juventus saw them progress to the semifinals of the much-coveted cup in Europe.
Erik ten Hag's men are on course to win their first Eredivisie title since 2014 with PSV Eindhoven in close vicinity, as Ajax lead on goal difference.
The Dutch side are also chasing for their first Champions League title since 1997 as they have reached the last four of the elite tournament after beating Real Madrid and Juventus in consecutive knockout rounds. Now Erik ten Hag's men will face Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspurs in the semifinal of the Champions League.
The Dutch league, Eredivisie understands the position of Ajax currently and their metronomic rise in these few seasons and hence they have postponed a whole round of fixtures in the league to allow more preparation time for their semifinal clash against Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs. The action is a sign of unity and togetherness displayed by the Dutch KNVB.
Before the step was taken, Ajax were all set to play wooden spooners, De Graafschap on April 28th- just two days ahead of their crucial clash against Tottenham Hotspurs. Hence this change in the fixture will allow the players to get back to their best and achieve full fitness ahead of the match as there is ten days break.
KNVB president Eric Gudde said: “We have looked at all kinds of ways to move games with Ajax progressing so far in the Champions League.
“We have presented our plans to all of the clubs.
“It is not ideal for everyone, I appreciate that, but this is not just helping Ajax," Gudde added.
“It is being done to help Dutch football as a whole because it means so much to be successful in Europe.”
A move like this proves the bonding the clubs share with the Dutch KNVB and vice versa. It makes you wonder why the Premier League clubs are flooded with fixtures ahead or after their European tie. However, Ajax have a busy schedule coming to the business end of the season as they chase for the Eredivisie, Dutch Cup and obviously the Champions League and hence a little rest will only be a welcome gift from Erik ten Hag's men.
But Tottenham, on the other hand, are scheduled to play West Ham United three days ahead of their first leg match against the Dutch side. The Spurs fans aren't very happy about it, as their opponents get a whole weekend off ahead of the crucial tie.
Published: Fri Apr 19, 2019 07:13 PM IST