Tottenham has been knocked out of the Europa League after UEFA confirmed that their postponed match against Rennes would be considered a forfeit. The match was scheduled to take place on December 9 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but it was postponed owing to a Covid-19 outbreak among the Spurs squad.
Reason Behind the Forfeit
UEFA had already announced that the match would not be replayed, and their new decision sees Antonio Conte’s team lose 3-0 by forfeit, putting them in third place in Group G. Spurs’ Premier League matches against Brighton and Leicester have also been canceled as a result of the increase of Covid cases among teams.
The club will not play European football in the new year as a result of UEFA’s decision, which was confirmed in a statement issued on Monday by the chairman of UEFA’s Appeals Body.
It read: “To declare the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Stade Rennais FC, that was initially scheduled to be played on 9 December 2021, as forfeited by Tottenham Hotspur FC, who is therefore deemed to have lost the match 0-3 in accordance with Annex J.3.1 to the Regulations of the UEFA Europa Conference League (2021/22 Season).”
What happens next?
Rennes had already secured first place in Group G, but a win for Spurs would have put them ahead of second-placed Vitesse Arnhem in the third-tier European competition’s knockout stages. Conte’s side played for the first time since December 5 on Sunday afternoon, drawing 2-2 with Liverpool in a game dominated by VAR controversy.
Conte bemoaned the idea of his side being penalized because of the coronavirus outbreak as Spurs were poised to return to action against Leicester before the match was put off due to an infection in the Foxes camp.
Spurs have a huge backlog of games to play, with last month’s encounter at Burnley being postponed owing to inclement weather, on top of the two league matches that were impacted by Covid-19.