Coronavirus: Dutch football chiefs to discuss Eredivisie fate

Dutch football chiefs were crystallize to discuss the future of this season's Eredivisie in a ... Bundesliga until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
2020-03-26 01:25:06
Coronavirus: Dutch football chiefs to discuss Eredivisie fate

Dutch football chiefs were set to discuss the future of this season's Eredivisie in a Tuesday meeting after new coronavirus restrictions with put in place by government in the Netherlands.

With all gatherings banned until June 1, any prospect of an early resumption to professional football has been ended.

It remains to be seen whether the leagues will elect to finish the season, decide to call it off now and declare the standings final, or choose an alternative option such as voiding the entire 2019-20 campaign.

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The KNVB, Holland's football association, was set for talks with the bodies responsible for the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie, namely the ECV and CED.

Hopes of finishing the season by June 30 - before player contracts expire - appear to be over, given most top-flight clubs still have eight games remaining. Ajax, AZ and Feyenoord, who make up the top three, each have nine fixtures left.

ECV chief executive Mattijs Manders, quoted by NOS, said: "It is very unlikely that the competition will be played in its current form. This is going to require a different approach. We will talk about this on Tuesday.

"But let's be clear: we support every measure that contributes to solving this big problem. Football is completely unimportant, but I am responsible for the Eredivisie and so I think about the scenarios."

But today, the TTFA has no direction as interim boss, Patrick, declined the position after lawyers for Wallace wrote to him, calling his appointment illegal, or at the very least unconstitutional.

In fact, the former TTFA boss has not taken his ousting lying down and is contemplating taking his grouses to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, pointing out that FIFA has ignored his plans to get the TTFA out of debt and is claiming prejudice against his administration, pointing first up to the timing of the ‘coup d’etat’ and the implications of a friendship with the TTFA’s previous boss, as well as inconsistencies regarding a FIFA-TTFA joint project dubbed ‘The Home of Football’.   

I won’t look at any of that, however. I am more interested in the entrenched laws that allow FIFA to make a decision of this nature.

Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president, Randy Harris sympathises with the ousted TTFA administration but believes FIFA well within their rights to install a normalization committee.

Harris is right because of article 8.2 of the FIFA statute.

Article 8.2 states: ‘Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time’.

I suppose, FIFA, as arbiters of the sport, must have in its bylaws, appropriate actions to ensure the continued growth of the sport throughout the world, but I find this article distasteful.

The article admits that the council is removing an ‘Executive’ body which has been duly elected by administrators of the sport within a country. This means, FIFA is saying it reserves the right to ignore the democracy of an entity when it has a mind to do so.

I say ‘has a mind’, because it is the council who decides what is an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and in this instance, it very well might be. But the fact that it is FIFA making this judgement, is problematic.

Each Member Association has elections and it is there that they decide if the fate of their organization can be managed by its leaders. It should certainly not be as easy as it was for FIFA to overturn that decision.

It means, in essence, if a Member Association does not operate its own affairs just the way FIFA says it should, and each country has a different set of circumstances to deal with that could mean varying ways of operating such affairs, then you could find that you have no say.

Harris pointed to this fact in a radio interview with Trinidad and Tobago’s i955 FM’s ISports radio, saying “The Trinidad and Tobago FA has found itself in a sad situation which all of us in the Caribbean could be in tomorrow.”

Therein lies my problem. This particular ‘takeover’ may very well be warranted with the TTFA in debt to the tune of TT$50 million, the question is, who decides this, and how can it be that ‘little’ Member Associations have no say in deciding whether or not they need outside help?

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