The KNCB has confirmed that both the men’s Topklasse and women’s Hoofdklasse will go ahead for 2021, with both competitions slated to start on time on May 1st.
All ten of the teams that contested last season’s abreviated competition will return for Topklasse 2021, despite some initial hesitance 2015 champions Dosti-United were the final team to confirm they would participate. As was the case last season, there will be no relegation from the Topklasse for 2021. Should the men’s Hoofdklasse be able to start later in the summer however, provided there is time to complete at least half of the usual season, two teams from the Netherlands’ second domestic division will be promoted, which will see the Topklasse expand to 12 teams for 2022.
Five teams have confirmed they will participate in the women’s Hoofdklasse, with VRA, Rood en Wit, VCC, Ajax SC, and Quick Haag returning. Excelsior’20, Groen Geel and Kampong decided not to participate in the competition under the current mandatory testing protocol, whilst the German national team, who were scheduled to participate in this years womens competition, are unable to travel under the current COVID-19 regulations.
Both competitions will be conducted according to the KNCB’s Verantwoord Opstart Topcompetitie protocol, requiring participating teams to conduct pre-match COVID testing during the season using Antigen speed tests provided by the board, as well as weekly tests during pre-season.
While last season’s abbreviated competition was the first since 1945 not to crown an official national champion, this year assuming a full season encompassing a double-round robin league of 16 rounds can be completed, the Topklasse Title will again be on the line.
note: This article initially stated that Dosti-United would not contest the 2021 season, it has been amended to reflect the reversal of this decision.