Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais have criticised Premier League counterparts Tottenham Hotspur after the North London side announced the Europa Conference League match between the two sides was off.
Spurs had been throw into disarray with Covid-19 cases at the club having risen to eight players and five staff members who had tested positive.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference manager Antonio Conte said that “everyone is a bit scared” and pondered whether the game should be played.
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Spurs said in a statement the game would no longer take place and there will be an update on when the fixture will be played in due course.
However later in the evening Stade Rennais released their own statement saying that there had been no decision officially and hit out at Spurs.
Rennes said that there has been no call by UEFA and as long as Spurs have 13 outfielders and a goalkeeper they should fulfil the fixture.
There are reports that Spurs have asked the Premier League for Sunday’s match against Brighton to be postponed as well.
Spurs added in their statement that they had closed the first-team area of the training centre.
Meanwhile at Leicester City seven players have tested positive ahead of their Europa League clash with Napoli on Thursday.
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 their intention not to play the UEFA Europa Conference League game. Thursday evening. Unilateral decision which has not been confirmed by UEFA in any way.
The Tottenham representative did not want to announce the number of their 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.
They 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.
Faced with this “London fog”, the SRFC reserves the right to approach UEFA. This lack of fair play is all the more glaring as Tottenham had confirmed by email that the match would be held at the start of the afternoon before warning Rennes of their intention not to play just after their landing in London City.
Spurs statement in full
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.
Conte – Everyone is a bit scared, this is serious
“Everyone is a bit scared. People have families,” said Conte at his press conference earlier on Wednesday.
“Why do we have to take the risk? This is my question. Today, two positives. And tomorrow, who? Me? I don’t know.
BETTER ME THAN A PLAYER FOR SURE. BUT I THINK IT’S NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE. WE HAVE CONTACT WITH OUR FAMILIES. THE SITUATION IS SERIOUS. THERE’S A BIG INFECTION. AND NOW, FOR SURE, WE’RE A BIT SCARED. BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
“This is the problem. Yesterday, they were negative and now they are positive. And we have had contact. This is the problem and makes me upset because, for sure, the situation is not clear and easy for everyone. Not just the players but everyone who works here.”
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