AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Ajax Amsterdam’s Champions League hopes got a boost on Thursday when the Dutch FA said Eredivisie fixtures on the weekend before the semi-final first leg at Tottenham Hotspur will be postponed.
Ajax were due to play relegation-threatened De Graafschap on April 28, two days before the trip to Spurs, but the Dutch FA plan to rearrange all games in the penultimate round of fixtures.
The regular Dutch league season will be extended to May 15.
Ajax are top of the Eredivisie table on goal difference from PSV Eindhoven, with both clubs on 74 points after 30 games.
Dutch FA rules specify at least two days of rest between games and that all clubs play on the last two matchdays.
“We have discussed various scenarios,” said Dutch FA (KNVB) technical director Eric Gudde on its website. “This decision has now been discussed with all clubs but they must of course still discuss this with the municipalities and the police.
“What is really nice is the reason why this was necessary — the semi-final place of Ajax in the Champions League. Not only Ajax, but all Dutch football benefits from this.”
Tottenham host West Ham United in the Premier League on April 27 (1130 GMT) while Ajax now have a free weekend.
Ajax have a busy schedule as they bid to end a five-year trophy drought by winning the treble.
They will meet Willem II in the Dutch Cup final on May 5, three days before the Champions League second leg against Tottenham at the Amsterdam Arena.
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Pete Rutherford)