Tottenham are KICKED OUT of the Europa Conference League by UEFA

Tottenham are KICKED OUT of the Europa Conference League as UEFA rule that Antonio Conte’s side must forfeit their postponed Rennes clash 3-0 after Covid ravaged the squad

  • Tottenham have been eliminated from the Europa Conference League by UEFA
  • Antonio Conte’s side have had to forfeit their final group game against Rennes
  • A 3-0 win to the French side means Tottenham finish third overall and are out
  • The original December 9 game was postponed due to a Covid outbreak at Spurs 

Tottenham’s Europa Conference League campaign is over after they forfeited their final group stage game against Rennes.

After the fixture was postponed due to a Covid outbreak at Spurs and the two clubs could not agree a date for a rearrangement, French side Rennes have been handed a 3-0 victory by UEFA. 

That has left Antonio Conte’s side with a third placed finish in Group G and seen them thrown out of the competition. 

Antonio Conte and Tottenham have been kicked out of the Europa Conference League by UEFA

A UEFA statement said: ‘Following several positive cases of COVID-19 that were identified from players and staff of Tottenham Hotspur FC, the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Stade Rennais FC – scheduled to be played on 9 December 2021 in London, United Kingdom – could not be played.

‘The matter was submitted to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex J of the Regulations of the UEFA Europa Conference League (2021/22 Season). 

‘Based on the Article 30 (4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and given the urgent circumstances of the matter, the ad-hoc chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body referred the case to the Appeals Body.

‘The Chairman of the Uefa Appeals Body took the following decision: To declare the 2021/22 Uefa Europa Conference League group stage match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Stade Rennais FC, that was initially scheduled to be played on 9 December 2021, as forfeited by Tottenham Hotspur FC, who is therefore deemed to have lost the match 0-3 in accordance with Annex J.3.1 to the Regulations of the Uefa Europa Conference League (2021/22 Season).’ 

French side Rennes called for the Europa Conference League game with Spurs to be cancelled

Eight Tottenham players and five staff members tested positive for Covid and Tottenham detailed 24 hours before the match, with case numbers rising, that it was not possible to go ahead. 

Rennes were left furious at the late call and the French side hit out at their opponents for making a ‘unilateral decision’.

Competition rules state a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper. 

Spurs were understood to have just about enough players available, without the suspended Ryan Sessegnon plus their injured and Covid-affected players, to meet that threshold but they hoped common sense would prevail with their side so severely weakened. 

A statement from Rennes went on to accuse Conte’s side of a ‘lack of fair play’.

‘Following the press release published by Tottenham at 9pm, this Wednesday, Stade Rennais FC would like to clarify the following facts,’ the Ligue 1 club said.

‘In a video conference at 7.45pm between representatives of UEFA, Tottenham and SRFC, the Spurs director of football (Fabio Paratici) announced their intention not to play the UEFA Europa Conference League game on Thursday evening.

‘(This is a) unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.

Tottenham had to close their training ground earlier this month following a Covid outbreak 

‘The Tottenham representative 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.

‘He argued for a decision by the English authorities without advancing any official document. As the match was not officially cancelled by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC upheld their decision to play.

‘Faced with this ‘London fog’, the SRFC reserves 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 at the start of the afternoon before warning Rennes of their intention not to play just after their landing in London City.’ 

Spurs’ chances of being able to play out the match were shredded when UEFA last week announced it was impossible.

UEFA ruled that there was no time to play it before the December 31 deadline and so they have subsequently had to forfeit.

The news will come as a disappointment to boss Antonio Conte given there was hope that a compromise would have been reached in rearranging the match.

Tottenham were in action on Sunday against Liverpool, following a series of postponements

Conte was visibly emotional earlier this month when asked about the impact of the outbreak. 

‘The problem is every day we are having people with Covid,’ he said.

‘People who yesterday weren’t positive, today are positive, and we continue to have contact. This is a serious problem. Not a good situation. Every day we are having positives.

‘Everyone is a bit scared because we all have family and (think) why do I have to take this risk?

‘There are situations that made me very, very upset, very upset because the situation is serious and it is contagious and there is a big infection and now for sure we are a bit scared because tomorrow we don’t know what happens. Today we had the training session, we prepared the game and yesterday two other positives, today two other positives and tomorrow, who?

No European football means Tottenham can catch up following a number of postponed games 

‘Me? Maybe. Better me than a player for sure but I think that it is not right for everyone because we have family and we have contact with them.’ 

Being eliminated from European football for the remainder of the season should allow Tottenham to clear their backlog of games following a flurry of postponements. 

Conte’s side are three games behind some of their rivals after having games against Leicester and Brighton postponed due to Covid cases. 

They returned to action on Sunday at home against Liverpool, where they ended a thrilling 90 minutes with a point after a 2-2 draw. 

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