Tottenham chaos as Rennes claim Conference League tie is STILL ON despite COVID outbreak
Tottenham struck by COVID-19 outbreak
There is never a quiet day in north London.
This week, Tottenham have been struck by a COVID-19 outbreak, just as it seemed that their season was getting back on track.
There have been further positive Covid test results at Spurs today and the postponement of Sunday’s match at Brighton is surely now a formality as, other than the cases themselves, Tottenham cannot train ahead of the game. https://t.co/WWXcEaAGWX
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) December 8, 2021
The club confirmed that eight players and five members of staff have tested positive for the virus, with more expected in the coming days.
As a result, they have asked for their Conference League tie against Rennes, and their Premier League clash with Brighton, to be postponed.
And it seemed that is what had happened.
In a statement released earlier today, Tottenham claimed:
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.
We can confirm that our UEFA Europa Conference League Group G home fixture against Stade Rennais will not take place tomorrow after a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the Club.
Full statement ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 8, 2021
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 good, right?
Rennes throw spanner in the works
However, this is not quite how the Ligue 1 outfit, who have already qualified as group winners, see the situation.
Taking to Twitter, the French club issued an official statement of their own, and it does not correlate with Tottenham’s. The French club said:
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. Thursday evening. Unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.
Suite au communiqué publié par Tottenham à 21h ce mercredi, le Stade Rennais F.C. tient à préciser plusieurs faits.⤵
— Stade Rennais F.C. (@staderennais) December 8, 2021
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 canceled by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC upheld their decision to play.
So, have Tottenham simply forfeited the game, or has there been a severe miscommunication between the two clubs?