December 09, (THEWILL) – UEFA has confirmed that Tottenham’s match against Rennes will go ahead, despite Spurs’ announcement that the match will be cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak within their team and staff.
On Wednesday, it was reported that eight Tottenham Hotspur players and five members of Antonio Conte’s coaching staff had tested positive.
Their Europa Conference League match is scheduled for Thursday at 9 pm local time.
Rennes, in a statement of their own, released on Wednesday, described the postponement as a “unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way” and referred to a “lack of fair play”.
UEFA, therefore, issued the following statement to clear the air: “The match is due to take place as scheduled. For further information regarding Tottenham’s COVID situation, please contact the club.
“We have no other comment to make at this stage.”
Spurs are looking to get the Premier League to postpone their match against Brighton & Hove Albion, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, THEWILL learnt on Wednesday. But, no decision has been taken concerning that issue at the moment.
The statement from Spurs that announced the postponement on Wednesday read: “We can confirm that our UEFA Europa Conference League Group G home fixture against Stade Rennais will not take place tomorrow (Thursday 9 December at 8pm UK) after a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club. Discussions are ongoing with UEFA and we shall provide a further update on this fixture in due course.
“Additionally, 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 centre at this time, in the interests of the health and safety of players and staff.
“All other areas of the training centre remain operational.”
However, Rennes countered this with a statement of their own that read: “Following the press release published by Tottenham at 9 p.m. this Wednesday, Stade Rennais FC would like to clarify the following facts. In a video conference at 7.45 p.m. between representatives of UEFA, Tottenham and SRFC, the Spurs director of football announced her intention not to play the UEFA Europa Conference League game on Thursday evening. It was a unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.
“The Tottenham representative did not want to announce the number of her players affected by the Covid when the rule states that a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfielders and a keeper.
“She 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.”
Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte said earlier on Wednesday that the club’s COVID-19 problem is “serious” and that everyone is “a little scared” by the ongoing epidemic.