Tottenham’s postponed Europa League fixture against Rennes will not be played, with the UEFA disciplinary panel set to determine Spurs’ fate in the competition.
Spurs were forced to postpone the game, scheduled for Thursday, after an outbreak of COVID-19 within Antonio Conte’s team which resulted in the closure of their training ground. Sunday’s Premier League game against Brighton has also been struck from the fixture list and CBS Sports reported on Wednesday that their next visit to Leicester City is also uncertain.
UEFA demands that any incomplete match be completed before December 31 and without space in the collective calendars of Spurs and Rennes to organize the match, the decision of its outcome rests with its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, which will meet next week. An important factor in its review will be whether Tottenham could have named 13 A-List players to their squad, including a goalkeeper. Under such circumstances, the governing body of European football expects matches to be played.
A UEFA statement said: “Following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Tottenham Hotspur FC squad ahead of the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage game against Stade Rennais FC, scheduled for 9 December 2021 in London, the match could not take place.
“In accordance with Annex J of the UEFA Europa Conference League regulations, UEFA, in cooperation with the two clubs, tried to find a viable solution to reschedule the match, in order to ensure that the group stage could end accordingly.
“Unfortunately, despite all efforts, a solution which could work for both clubs could not be found. As a result, the match can no longer be played and the case will therefore be referred to the Control Body, d ‘ethics and discipline of UEFA for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex J of the aforementioned competition regulations. “
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Appendix J addresses issues related to the coronavirus that may affect the group stages of the competition. It states that “the club which cannot play the match will be held responsible for the failure of the match to take place and the match will be declared by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body as being confiscated by the club, which will be considered to have lost the game 3-0. “
Such a result would knock Tottenham out of the competition. Vitesse’s 3-1 win over Mura means that if the game had taken place, Spurs would have had to beat Rennes, who are already guaranteed to finish at the top of the group, to reach the knockout first round.
The decision to postpone the game had not been popular with Tottenham’s opponents in the group stage. Rennes released a stern statement lamenting the late decision, which came to light after their players arrived in London, while Vitesse questioned whether a game played at a later date would impact the integrity of Group G.
At the time of the game’s suspension, Spurs had eight players and five first-team staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 with other cases in the club’s Under-23 team. Those who have not tested positive are now undertaking home fitness work.