Utrecht are not happy that they have been denied the opportunity to take the fifth European spot and are likely to take legal action against the KNVB.

On Friday, the KNVB confirmed that the European would be distributed based on the final positions of the Eredivisie. That means Ajax and AZ head into the Champions League, with Feyenoord, PSV and Willem II heading into the Europa League.

This decision is being challenged by Utrecht, who sat sixth in the league before the coronavirus outbreak, and were also in the KNVB Cup final. They were three points behind Willem II with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

A statement on the club’s website said, “It is unacceptable for FC Utrecht that the cup competition, which has not been played for one game, is completely ignored and does not count in the consideration of which club is entitled to a European ticket on sporting grounds. The Europa League group stage ticket will be awarded to Feyenoord without any explanation based on the league table. FC Utrecht is just as entitled to this ticket as fellow cup finalist Feyenoord (and even more entitled because it has won a cup match more than Feyenoord), which is not included in the presentation of the decisions today.

“Based on the rankings, FC Utrecht is also shorted. FC Utrecht is at position 6 of the Eredivisie at the end of the competition, but the club has played a match less than number 5 Willem II. In the explanatory notes, the KNVB has not spoken a word about the fact that FC Utrecht has played a match less than Willem II and overtakes the Tilburg team in the rankings if they win. In that case FC Utrecht has the same number of points, but a much better goal difference, more goals scored and a better mutual result. 

“According to FC Utrecht, the decision to shift the European ticket from the cup to the competition is not based on sporting grounds and cannot be justified in any other way. This ticket is the main prize for another competition. The highest ticket of the cup competition, which only two clubs are entitled to, cannot therefore simply be shifted according to regulations. In fact, during the call, the KNVB announced that shifting the ticket for the group stage of the Europa League from cup to competition may mean that UEFA will not forgive the ticket.

“The decision-making of the professional football board (the lack of transparency and objectivity) is therefore very much against FC Utrecht. This process is not accepted by the Domstedelingen.”

Voetbal International now believes that Utrecht will look into legal action against the KNVB.

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