Tottenham vs Rennes off after Covid-19 outbreak, say Spurs

Antonio Conte had said he was 'scared' for his squad going into the game having had eight players and five staff test positive for Covid-19; UEFA regulations usually mean matches cannot be postponed unless a club has fewer than 13 players or no registered goalkeeper available

General view image outside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham say their Europa Conference League match against Rennes is off due to a Covid-19 outbreak, but the French club dispute the decision.

Spurs released a statement on Wednesday evening that said they "can confirm that our UEFA Europa Conference League Group G home fixture against Stade Rennais will not take place".

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

"Discussions are ongoing with UEFA and we shall provide a further update on this fixture in due course," Spurs added.

But Rennes have disputed Tottenham's statement, saying the decision has not been confirmed by UEFA.

The French club said the decision to call off the game had been taken "unilaterally" by Tottenham and that they wanted to play the game on Thursday as scheduled.

The Ligue 1 club, who say they were made aware of Tottenham's intention not to play the game after landing in London, also said the Premier League side had shown a "lack of fair play".

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

Tottenham say they have also been advised to close the first-team area of their training ground "in the interests of the health and safety of players and staff". All other areas of their training centre remain operational.

'Scared' Conte questions why game would go ahead

Spurs head coach Antonio Conte questioned why his side were still being asked to prepare for the match when he announced the club's tally of players and coaches with coronavirus had reached 13.

His side 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.

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

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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

Conte had said he was "scared" for his squad going into the match against Rennes.

"It is not right for everyone because we have contact with our family when we come back home," he said.

He did not reveal whether the club have contacted the Premier League ahead of Sunday's Premier League visit to Brighton.

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.

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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