"A disgrace to Dutch football" - Cambuur coach blasts promotion block

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Cambuur head coach Henk de Jong has come out swinging against the KNVB decision to halt promotion to and relegation from the Eredivisie.

The Frisian club led the Dutch second tier, the Eerste Divisie, by 4-points when the season was brought to an early close by the COVID-19 pandemic, and were 11-points clear of Volendam in the fight for promotion.

Earlier this week, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte banned all large-scale events - including those of a sporting nature - until September 1.

This led the Dutch FA - the KNVB - to end the domestic season early.

Ajax will not be crowned champions, leaving the title vacant for the first time since 1945.

On Friday, the clubs and the KNVB voted against promotion and relegation taking place this season.

RKC Waalwijk were bottom of the Eredivisie, 4-points adrift of ADO Den Haag who occupied the relegation playoff berths with Fortuna Sittard.

So despite looking like they were about to end a five-year stint in the Eerste Divisie, Cambuur - along with De Graafschap - remain marooned their for another year at least.

"This feels like the greatest disgrace ever in Dutch sport", and angry de Jong is quoted by De Telegraaf as saying.

The Cambuur boss added, "I always assume honesty, people who manage well. But what happened here is unworthy of sports.

"You will be responsible for this and have to carry it with you for the rest of your life."

16 clubs voted for promotion and relegation, 9 voted against, and a further 9 left the decision in the hands of KNVB who opted to maintain the status quo.

FC Groningen director Hans Nijland has already said it was "incomprehensible" that such a decision be left to a club vote.

De Jong also disagreed that Ajax should be granted automatic Champions League qualification as they only led AZ on goal difference.

"It is a disgrace to Dutch football. This is not normal, is it? It is not normal for this to be decided this way."

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ADO Den Haag Cambuur Eredivisie Henk De Jong KNVB RKC Waalwijk

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