Spurs leave Europe after UEFA awarded Rennes 3-0 win in canceled game | Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham were eliminated from the Europa Conference League after losing their last group stage game at home to Rennes 3-0, despite manager Antonio Conte considering the process unfair.

The game was scheduled to be played on Thursday, December 9, with Spurs likely needing a win to finish ahead of Vitesse Arnhem in second place and advance to a play-off to reach the bottom 16.

But Spurs announced the day before that the draw would not take place due to a Covid outbreak at the club, which saw them temporarily shutting down the first-team area of ​​their training ground on the advice of the Health Security Agency. Earlier today, Conte said eight players and five coaches tested positive. UEFA rules state that matches can be postponed if a club has fewer than 13 senior players available and no goalkeepers.

The Spurs’ statement took UEFA by surprise and infuriated Rennes, who had traveled to London after being assured by their opponents that the draw would take place. The French club accused Spurs of acting unilaterally – without UEFA’s support – and in bad faith.

UEFA said the next morning that they were convinced the draw could not be played and blamed a bureaucratic error for the confusion – particularly Spurs’ failure to keep them in writing on the situation, which means that the governing body could not confirm the postponement on Wednesday evening.

But with the anger that continues to boil in Rennes and the frustration with Spurs, attempts to reschedule the game before the UEFA deadline of December 31 have come to a standstill.

Spurs had suggested they play there on December 16, which would have meant moving their Premier League game to Leicester – a request which was denied. Ironically, that match would later be postponed due to a Covid outbreak in Leicester, with Spurs in town and ready to play. Spurs even said they would be ready to travel to Rennes to complete the game.

It has been suggested that UEFA may relax its deadline, given the busy schedule in December and the French league’s winter break – perhaps allowing the draw to take place in January. This does not happen.

When UEFA announced on December 11 that the clubs had not found a date and referred the matter to their oversight, ethics and discipline body, Spurs were likely to be forfeited. .

The case was referred to the UEFA appeal body which declared the draw “as a forfeit by Tottenham, who are 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 ”.

Spurs said: “We are disappointed with the decision of the UEFA appeal body and the refusal to allow more time for the game to be rescheduled. However, we have to accept this decision and we are focused now on the competitions in which we stay. “

Conte had shared his feelings last Wednesday. “Tottenham deserves to play the game,” he said. “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.

Quick guide

How can I subscribe to sports news alerts?

To show

  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play Store on Android phones by searching for “The Guardian”.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you are using the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then navigate to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Activate sports notifications.

Thank you for your opinion.

“We can’t find a good solution between UEFA and the Premier League… why do Tottenham have to pay for it? It is not fair that we have to pay for a situation that is not our fault. I understand if we have done something wrong but in this way, for the club, the players, the staff, it is very difficult to understand what is going on.

Spurs never really wanted to be part of UEFA’s new third tier competition and their participation was a disaster. They were laughed at and trolled by Paços de Ferreira before and after the 1-0 loss to the Portuguese club in the first leg of the qualifying play-offs and that was just the start.

After losing 1-0 at Vitesse with a phantom team under Nuno Espírito Santo, the 2-1 loss to NS Mura, the Slovenian minnows, under Conte was one of the most embarrassing results in club history. There has been criticism from inside and outside the club, arguments and in many ways the withdrawal against Rennes provides a suitably pessimistic signing.

Comments are closed.