The KNVB announced the new format for the tournament for the TOTO KNVB Cup on Wednesday, after it became clear on Tuesday evening that amateur clubs are no longer allowed to participate. The most important change is that nine clubs will receive an exemption for the second round and are immediately qualified for the eighth finals.
Amateur clubs receive financial compensation
Due to the exclusion of the 26 remaining amateur clubs, there are only 23 teams in the second round of the cup tournament, all of which play in the Kitchen Champion Division or the Eredivisie. Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord and AZ, who did not yet have to take action due to European obligations, are now also coming in.
In order to keep sixteen clubs in the eighth finals, as usual, the KNVB chooses to schedule seven games in the draw for the second round and to exempt nine clubs. They therefore qualify directly for the eighth finals without having to take action.
In the draw for that second round on Saturday, it will become clear which nine clubs will advance to the eighth finals in one go. The fourteen teams that do have to take action will play their matches on December 15, 16 or 17. The eighth finals are scheduled for January.
The KNVB decided on Tuesday evening to remove all amateur clubs from the cup tournament following the press conference of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge, who announced that the partial lockdown may remain intact until mid-January. Amateur football has been halted since October.
Seventeen cup matches (including 26 amateur clubs) were therefore already postponed to December 1 and 2, but that turned out to be no longer feasible. The KNVB meets the duped amateur clubs by paying out the competition fees for the matches in the first round.
Since it was established that nine amateur clubs would qualify for the second round in any case, that competition fee will be divided evenly among the 26 still participating amateur clubs. All teams have also been promised that they can participate again next season.