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Europa Conference League: UEFA says Tottenham-Rennes game is off after COVID outbreak

London: European football’s governing body UEFA has confirmed that Tottenham’s Europa Conference League game with Rennes on Thursday is off after a coronavirus outbreak in the Spurs camp.

Tottenham announced on Wednesday that the Group G fixture would not take place after 13 players and members of staff tested positive for COVID-19 at the Premier League club.

French side Rennes, who had flown to London, said Spurs had made a “unilateral decision”.

But UEFA confirmed in a statement on Thursday the game would not go ahead, giving the organisation a headache over the rescheduling of the game.

“We can confirm that the Tottenham-Rennes match will not take place tonight,” it said. “Further information will follow in due course.”

Rennes have already won Group G, while Tottenham are level on points with third-placed Vitesse Arnhem.

UEFA rules state there is a 31 December deadline for group games to be completed but it is understood there could be some room for manoeuvre as Spurs have a packed domestic schedule before then, while Rennes go on a winter break after 22 December.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte revealed on Wednesday that eight of his players and five members of staff tested positive for coronavirus and the first-team area of its training centre had been closed.

It has been reported that Tottenham are now considering asking for their Premier League match at Brighton on Sunday to be postponed.

After the Brighton game, Spurs face top-flight fixtures against Leicester on 16 December and Liverpool on 19 December.

Last season, Tottenham had matches against Aston Villa and Fulham postponed due to COVID outbreaks within the opposition camps.

“I think that I haven’t got to send a message to anyone because the situation is very clear,” Conte said of the potential for more of his team’s games to be postponed.

The Italian, who became Spurs manager last month, admitted the sudden outbreak had left his squad scared.

“To speak about football today is impossible. The last situation made me very upset,” he said.

“The situation is serious. There is a big infection. Again at the end of the session, one player (tested) positive, another staff (member) positive. Tomorrow, who (will it be)?”

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a wave of measures aimed at slowing the spread of the Omicron variant.

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