Michael van Praag, board member of UEFA, is furious about AZ’s actions. The former KNVB chairman is angry about the way the Alkmaar club has continued to fight for a better Champions League ticket. “They played a very ‘sneaky’ game”, says Van Praag in an interview in the AD.
AZ sent a letter to the European football association UEFA to try to change the distribution of European tickets. The KNVB decided in April, due to the corona virus, to declare the competition ended and to maintain the position as it was for the distribution of European tickets. Ajax and AZ had the same number of points, but the team from Amsterdam were above the Alkmaarders on the basis of goal difference. The KNVB maintained that ranking, so that AZ must start as number 2 in the second heat of the Champions League. AZ won both matches against Ajax and felt that it was entitled to a later entry into the Champions League.
Van Praag says that he has no problems with AZ having contacted UEFA after the club had not heard from the KNVB about the allocation of the Champions League ticket. “But don’t do that in secret,” he says. “They have questioned my integrity and went to complain to UEFA behind my back. Apparently purely to discredit me.”
When asked, AZ informs the newspaper that it will accept Van Praag’s reaction. The Alkmaarders will play the game with Viktoria Plzen in the second heat of the Champions League on Wednesday, August 26. The kick-off of the game in Alkmaar is at 4.30 pm.