December 11 – Tottenham Hotspur’s postponed Covid-hit Europa Conference League game against Rennes has been scrapped altogether and will not be played at all, putting the Premier League club at risk of having to forfeit the match and being thrown out of the competition.
On the eve of the encounter last Thursday, Spurs said it had been called off because of 13 positive cases at the club eight involving players and five staff.
Rennes later criticised that decision, saying it was taken unilaterally by Tottenham and that they reserved the right to appeal to UEFA.
UEFA said Saturday it had tried unsuccessfully to find a viable way of ensuring the group stage could be completed.
“Unfortunately, despite all efforts, a solution that could work for both clubs could not be found,” a statement said.
“As a consequence, the match can no longer be played and the matter will, therefore, be referred to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex J of the … competition regulations.”
Tottenham are third in their group with seven points, three behind second-placed Vitesse, while Rennes, who have already qualified for the next round, top the group.
Spurs would have needed to beat Rennes to leapfrog Vitesse but the Dutch side could now find themselves in the knockout phase at Tottenham’s expense.
The crux of the matter is whether Tottenham had enough players, or whether Rennes were too intransigent when it came to rescheduling.
Rennes insisted last Wednesday that in a video conference with them and UEFA, Tottenham “did not want to announce the number of players affected by Covid when the rule states that a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfielders and a keeper”.
Tottenham’s Premier League match at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday was also postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
With no firm decision yet announced, both spurs and rennes were included in the draw for the Europa Conference League knockout play-off round later today.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org