TOTTENHAM’s Conference League clash with Rennes tonight is closed – despite the French side threatening to embarrass North Londoners.
UEFA decided this morning that it had no alternative but to follow the advice of Public Health England.
This means that the match will not take place although UEFA will now have to decide on a revised date.
Under UEFA regulations, all matches in the group stage must be completed by 31 December.
But with Spurs having a full fixture list by the end of the month – although it is likely that Sunday’s Prem clash at Brighton and next Thursday’s home game against Leicester will now be postponed – there is no is no obvious space in the calendar for these arrangements to meet.
And while a date can be found, there is now a tremendous amount of composure between the parties.
Spurs announced last night that the game would not take place due to the Covid epidemic that has ravaged the club.
In a statement, Spurs said: “We can confirm that our UEFA Europa Conference League Group G home game against Stade Rennais will not take place tomorrow (Thursday 9 December at 8 p.m. UK) after a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the Club.
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“Discussions are underway with UEFA and we will provide a further update on this game in due course.
In addition, following discussions with the Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and DCMS advisers, the club has been advised to close the First Team area of its training facility for the time being, in the interest in the health and safety of players and staff.
“All the other areas of the training center remain operational. “
It was a one-sided action by Spurs, on the advice of health officials and after boss Antonio Conte publicly spoke of the fears and anxieties caused by the rapid outbreak.
Rennes, however, accused the Prem giants of setting up a “London fog” to stop the game.
In a bizarre attack, the Ligue 1 team accused football operations director Rebecca Caplehorn of causing Rennes – and UEFA – to be canceled during a video conference.
Rennes said: “During a videoconference at 7.45pm between representatives of UEFA, Tottenham and Rennes, the Spurs director of football announced her intention not to play in the UEFA Europa Conference League game on Thursday evening.
“It was a unilateral decision which was not confirmed by UEFA in any way.
“The representative of Tottenham did not want to announce the number of her players affected by the Covid while the rule stipulates that a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfitters and a goalkeeper.
“She pleaded for a decision by the English authorities without putting forward any official document.
“As the match was not officially canceled by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC maintained their decision to play.
“In the face of this ‘London fog’, we reserve the right to approach UEFA.
“This lack of fair play is all the more glaring as Tottenham had confirmed by email that the match would be held in the early afternoon before warning Rennes of their intention not to play just after their landing at the London City Airport. “
But UEFA sources have now confirmed to SunSport that the match will not take place due to health reasons.
According to Ouest France, the Spurs propose that the match be postponed until Wednesday, December 15.
But Rennes fired back and said: “The rules state that a match must be played as long as a team has 13 outfielders and a goalkeeper.
“This lack of fair play is all the more glaring as Tottenham confirmed at the start of the afternoon that the match would take place, before informing Rennes of their intention not to play just after landing at the London City Airport. “