Eredivisie to kick off on September 12

Dutch football association KNVB plans to start the new season of the Eredivisie on September 12 and 13. Due to the relaxed coronavirus measures announced on Wednesday, teams will be able to train together again without social distancing from next month, NU.nl reports.

"We are very happy with the latest relaxations, which are in line with our Delta Plan. That all selections can now fully prepare early will save a lot of injury during the season," said Eric Gudde, director of professional football at the KNVB. 

The relaxation of measures also means that matches can be played with spectators in the stands, as long as social distancing is maintained at all times. There will be a ban on chanting and singing, however, as this increases the risk of spreading the coronavirus. "If that does happen, it will close again," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday. "Bring a horn or whisper 'hooray', that's it." With social distancing measures, about a third of stadiums' capacity can be filled in September. 

"It is also great that we can already take the first steps to play in front of the public again," Gudde said. "Although it is difficult in some stadiums to play with a limited audience, this intermediate step is necessary. The images from abroad on TV have again demonstrated in recent weeks that the fans play a crucial role in the experience of football."

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