Tottenham were eliminated from the Europa Conference League after UEFA confirmed that their postponed game against Rennes would be considered a forfeit.
The clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was scheduled to be played on December 9 but was called off after a Covid-19 outbreak among the Spurs squad.
UEFA had previously said the game will not be replayed and their latest decision sees Antonio Conte’s side lose the game 3-0 by forfeit, meaning they finish third in Group G.
Spurs have also seen the Premier League games against Brighton and Leicester canceled as the rise in Covid cases among teams continues to affect the schedule.
The UEFA decision means there will be no European football for the club in the new year, with a statement on Monday upholding the decision by the chairman of the UEFA Appeals Body.
“Declare the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Stade Rennais FC, which was originally scheduled to be played on 9 December 2021, as withdrawn by Tottenham Hotspur FC, who is therefore deemed to have lost the match 0-3 in accordance with appendix J.3.1 of the Regulations of the UEFA Europa Conference League (season 2021/22) “, we read.
Rennes were already assured of first place in Group G, but Spurs’ victory would have allowed them to overtake second-placed Vitesse Arnhem to reach the round of 16 in third-level European competition.
Conte’s side returned to action for the first time since December 5 as they drew 2-2 with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in a game dominated by the VAR drama.
When Spurs were due to resume action against Leicester before the game was called off due to an outbreak at the Foxes camp, Conte lamented the prospect of his side being punished due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Spurs face a significant game delay as last month’s game at Burnley was postponed due to bad weather, in addition to the two league games which were affected by Covid-19.
“Of course the Premier League didn’t want to postpone the game against Leicester, maybe because we have to play against Burnley and Brighton. We postponed two games before,” Conte said last week.
“I can understand, we can understand. On the other hand, I think we deserve to play our chance against Rennes to go to the next group.
“We can’t find a good solution between UEFA and the Premier League, why do Tottenham have to pay for it?
“It’s not fair that we have to pay for a situation that is not our fault? I understand if we did something wrong but this way, for the club, the players, the staff, it is very difficult to understand what is going on.
“We want to play the game. Tottenham deserves to play the game, to play the last game of this group.
“It’s a really strange situation because we didn’t play without fault on our part but because of a big problem and because the government decided to close our training ground, to stop our session. ‘training for three days.
“For that reason we didn’t play. Not for another reason. I think we can’t fault what happened. I’m telling you, we deserve to play this game and to try to have a chance to go to the next round. “
Sanchez: UEFA’s withdrawal decision unfair
Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez said UEFA’s decision to declare the club lost their Europa League home game against Rennes was “completely unfair”.
“Having the right to play is not fair for us [that UEFA] just say you’re out of competition, “he said Sky Sports News.
“Following [so] knowing you haven’t played the game because of the Covid cases.
“We prepared for the match, we were focused, we were doing everything to play against Rennes. It was the night before that we learned that the match was not going to be played.
“I think it’s a bit unfair for us as a club, for our fans because it was a competition that we struggled to play away from, but we still had a chance to stay in the competition , so it’s completely unfair. “
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