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UEFA: Tottenham vs. Rennes will not be rescheduled

The issue of what to do next has been relayed to a UEFA Ethics panel.

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Group stage draw for UEFA Europa Conference League in Istanbul Photo by Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The cancelled Europa Conference League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Rennes will NOT be rescheduled. That’s the latest from UEFA, which released a statement that Spurs posted on its website and on social media.

Following a COVID-19 outbreak in the team of Tottenham Hotspur FC ahead of the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage match against Stade Rennais FC, scheduled to take place on 9 December 2021 in London, the match could not take place.

In accordance with Annex J of the UEFA Europa Conference League regulations, UEFA, in cooperation with the two clubs tried to find a viable solution in order to reschedule the match, so as to ensure the group stage could be completed accordingly.

Unfortunately, despite all efforts, a solution that could work for both clubs could not be found. As a consequence, the match can no longer be played and the matter will, therefore, be referred to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex J of the above-mentioned competition regulations.

—Statement, UEFA

UEFA’s current regulations state that the match needed to be completed by December 31. Tottenham have barely any mid-week slots left in their schedule in 2021, making rescheduling difficult. There were reports earlier that they had offered to play the match on December 15, but Rennes stated that that they had “no intention” of playing the match.

That raises the distinct possibility that the match will be forfeited. But by who? Annex J of the UEFA regulations states that “the club that cannot play the match will be held responsible for the match not taking place and the match will be declared by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body to be forfeited by the club, which will be considered to have lost the match 3-0.” That would imply that Tottenham is the club who would most likely be forced to forfeit.

However, the Athletic suggests that “UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body could yet make another decision depending on the circumstances,” but doesn’t go into any detail or speculation of what that decision might be. The idea that UEFA’s ethics panel might look at Rennes’ intransigence over wanting to reschedule the match and decide that it’s THEY that should forfeit the match would be absolutely hilarious. A Rennes forfeiture would mean that Spurs and Rennes would both advance to the next round, leaving a fuming Vitesse, who won 3-1 over Mura on Thursday, behind. UEFA could also just declare the match null and void, which functionally doesn’t change the results as far as Spurs are concerned; Rennes would still win the group with Vitesse progressing in second.

Either way, someone’s forfeiting this match. It should probably be Tottenham, just so that they have more space to get themselves out of this COVID-19 outbreak and set themselves up for future success in the Premier League and cups. We’ll have to wait and see what UEFA decides.