Spurs vs Rennes off after UEFA confirms decision

Spurs vs Rennes off after UEFA confirms decision

UEFA has confirmed Tottenham’s Europa Conference League match against Rennes is off after a Covid-19 outbreak at the Premier League club.

Spurs said on Wednesday evening the game had been called off but Rennes disputed the statement, saying the decision had not yet been confirmed by UEFA.

It followed revelations that eight first-team players and five staff at Tottenham had tested positive for Covid-19.

The French club said the decision to call off the game had been taken “unilaterally” by Tottenham and that they wanted to play the match as scheduled, but on Thursday morning UEFA told Sky Sports News the fixture would not go ahead.

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Antonio Conte had questioned why his players and staff are being made to continue preparing for their upcoming matches after a Covid outbreak

UEFA regulations usually mean matches cannot be postponed unless a club has fewer than 13 players or no registered goalkeeper available.

All European group stage matches must be completed by the end of 2021, with Tottenham already facing a busy festive schedule leaving no obvious window to rearrange the fixture.

Spurs need a victory against Rennes, who are already assured to finish top of the group, to stand a chance of qualifying for the last 32.

Could Spurs’ PL game against Brighton be postponed?

In the Premier League, the 2021-22 handbook states permission will not be granted to postpone a league match if a club has 14 or more players on its squad list available.

However, postponing league games is taken on a case-by-case basis and the decision would be made by the Premier League board if a request is received from a club.

Speaking on Wednesday, Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte did not reveal whether the club have contacted the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s Premier League visit to Brighton.

Postponing Premier League games is taken on a case-by-case basis and the decision would be made by the Premier League board if a request is received from a club.

Tottenham fixtures: What’s coming up?

December 12: Brighton vs Tottenham – Premier League, kick-off 2pm

December 16: Leicester vs Tottenham – Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm

December 19: Tottenham vs Liverpool – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports

December 22: Tottenham vs West Ham – Carabao Cup, kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports

December 26: Tottenham vs Crystal Palace – Premier League, kick-off 3pm

Mixed messages in football: When is a match postponed due to Covid?

In the Premier League, the 2021-22 handbook states permission will not be granted to postpone a league match if a club has 14 or more players on its squad list available.

However, postponing league games is taken on a case-by-case basis and the decision would be made by the Premier League board if a request is received from a club.

Last season, the Premier League postponed six matches because of Covid-19 cases at clubs, including Spurs’ game against Fulham, which was called off on the day of the game.

However, on the opening day of this season, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was left surprised his side’s Premier League opener against Brentford was not postponed after a severe Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Arsenal's starting line-up against Brentford on the opening day
Image: Arsenal’s starting line-up against Brentford on the opening day

The Gunners were without Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Runarsson, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian the 2-0 defeat after confirming all four had contracted Covid-19.

“Yes, I was surprised, but the regulators decided that the best thing to do was to play the game,” Arteta said.

But while the Premier League season-opener went ahead in England even when multiple first-team players were ruled out, in Scotland the story has been very different.

In November, Hibernian’s Premiership games against Ross County and Livingston were postponed after two Hibs players tested positive.

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