RENNES are demanding the cancellation of their Europa Conference League match with Tottenham after confirmation of the game's postponement.
Spurs and the Rennais were scheduled to meet tonight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for their final group stage match but the hosts have been stricken by a coronavirus outbreak with a reported 17 cases — eight players and nine members of staff.
Thus, Uefa decided this morning that they had no alternative but to follow the advice of Public Health England and will now have to rule on a revised date for the postponed fixture.
A statement from Tottenham 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.”
According to the Daily Mail, Rennes have told Uefa they will not be accepting the new date and are furious with Tottenham, as they had already travelled to London.
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The Ligue 1 side claim the North Londoners refused to reveal the number of players affected by Covid-19 when competition rules dictate a game must be played if the team has at least 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper.
Rennes released the following statement: "Following the press release published by Tottenham at 9pm, this Wednesday, Stade Rennais FC would like to clarify the following facts.
"In a video conference at 7.45pm between representatives of UEFA, Tottenham and SRFC, the Spurs director of football announced their intention not to play the UEFA Europa Conference League game on Thursday evening.
"[This is a] unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.
"The Tottenham representative did not want to announce the number of players affected by Covid when the rule states that a match must be played as long as the team has 13 outfielders and a keeper.
"He 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."
There are some serious questions being raised about when the match can actually take place, given Uefa's rule stating all group fixtures must be completed by December 31.
Tottenham are penned down for six games this month but it is likely both Sunday’s Premier League clash at Brighton and next Thursday’s home meeting with Leicester will now be postponed as well.
According to Ouest France, the Prem outfit has proposed that the match could be moved to next Wednesday.
Rennes have flown back to France after apologising to their travelling fans and have asked Uefa to "respect" their interests ahead of their upcoming busy schedule.
Another statement read: "After being informed of the cancellation of tonight's match by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC decided to return to Brittany. The entire delegation that will board at London City Airport has tested negative.
"Stade Rennais FC hope that the interests of the club will be respected given the important sporting deadlines that await the Rouge et Noir this December. The group is now focusing on the Nice Sunday reception at Roazhon Park.
"Stade Rennais FC is deeply sorry for the Rennes fans who decided to come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to cheer on the Rouge et Noir."
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