Disappointed KV Mechelen refuses to play a match against OHL: forfeit defeat threatens
According to the Pro League, KV Mechelen would not meet the conditions to postpone this weekend’s game against OHL due to corona. For example, Saturday’s game would still continue, but Malinwa will not descend to Leuven.
Thomas Standaert, Vincent Van Genechten
KV Mechelen decided on the Board of Directors, after consultation with the players and staff, not to play tomorrow’s game against OH Leuven. In principle, the club will be given a 5-0 forfait defeat.
“We requested a postponement of tomorrow’s game against OHL based on the rules approved by the Pro League, but that request was rejected,” said KVM CEO Frank Lagast. “The rules state that – I quote – at least 2 goalkeepers registered on the SSL-A list must have tested positive, of which 1 goalkeeper with the most playing minutes this season. Gaetan Coucke has the most playing minutes and Maxime Wenssens is part of our A-team. He is on the list that we submitted to the KBVB at the start of the season, has 21 A-selections to his name and has already been on the bench four times this season in league and cup.”
Nevertheless, Maxime Wenssens’ positive test does not count towards requesting a postponement. The calendar committee considers Maxime to be a U21 goalkeeper. “Even though he is on our A-core list. We make no distinction based on age. With us, young people also get their chances in the first team. If Maxime would have been one year older, the competition would have been postponed. While the idea behind this rule was: 2 of your 3 A-core goalkeepers positive? Then we move the match. A nuance in the regulations is interpreted strictly while not acting in accordance with the spirit.”
KV Mechelen could take legal steps to enforce a postponement, but is not doing so for the time being. “What does Belgian football and the health of the players gain from this? I am very disappointed with this decision. We are always constructive to strive for a consensus within the Pro League and that’s what you get,” said another disappointed Lagast.
The staff and the group of players decided in consultation with the management to make a clear statement.
Captain Rob Schoofs: “This is simply not possible, the rule is clear, everyone who reads this rule says the same thing. It is also a blow to any young footballer who trains with an A-team in order to get opportunities. KV Mechelen has six youngsters who are part of the A-team, train with us daily and make minutes in our A-team. This is unfair to those young players.”