Tottenham have been knocked out of the Europa Conference League after forfeiting their final group match against Rennes.
Spurs needed to beat the French side to progress to the knockout stages of the competition after suffering embarrassing defeats to Vitesse and Mura in Group G.
However, the match on December 9 was postponed at the last minute following a coronavirus outbreak in the Tottenham camp.
UEFA had previously confirmed the match would not be rescheduled and have now ruled that Spurs have forfeited the game, awarding Rennes a 3-0 win which eliminates the north London club from the competition.
Tottenham had argued that they were unable to fulfil the fixture after eight players and five staff members tested positive for the virus 24 hours before the match, with the outbreak also causing their Premier League game against Brighton on December 12 to be postponed.
However, UEFA have decided that Tottenham acted against the competition’s rules, which state that if a team must play if it has 13 fit outfield players and a goalkeeper.
A UEFA statement said: “Following several positive cases of COVID-19 that were identified from players and staff of Tottenham Hotspur FC, the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Stade Rennais FC - scheduled to be played on 9 December 2021 in London, United Kingdom – could not be played.
“The matter was submitted to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex J of the Regulations of the UEFA Europa Conference League (2021/22 Season).
“Based on the Article 30 (4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and given the urgent circumstances of the matter, the ad-hoc chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body referred the case to the Appeals Body.”
Rennes were left furious when their trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was cancelled after the French team had already landed in London.
The Ligue 1 club had previously secured top spot in the group, with second place set to go to either Tottenham or Vitesse.
Speaking last week, Spurs boss Antonio Conte was hopeful the match would be rearranged and said his side deserved to have a chance to reach the knockout phase.
"We want to play the game," Conte said.
"Tottenham deserves to play the game and the last game of this group. I think it's a really strange situation.
"When the Government decides to close our training ground and we cannot train and it's for this reason we cannot play, not another reason.
“We don't have fault. We deserve to play this game and try to go to the next round."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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