Antonio Conte has seemingly hinted that Tottenham’s exit from the Europa Conference League is not yet definitive after UEFA kicked the North Londoners out this week.
Spurs went into the final game of the group stage needing a victory over Rennes to secure a place in the play-offs. However, the match was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Tottenham camp.
UEFA ruled on Monday that the result would go down as a 3-0 win to Rennes due to Tottenham’s inability to play, therefore sending Vitesse Arnhem through to the play-offs instead of Conte’s side.
Spurs reportedly presented multiple potential dates to play the rearranged fixture, but Rennes rejected each one.
A Spurs spokesman has said revealed the club were disappointed but accepting of the UEFA decision, although Conte now seemingly hints something different.
He suggested that Tottenham deserve to play the match on the pitch rather than in the courts, and the club are ‘very confident’ about the next step.
Conte said (Football London): “Honestly for me, the club and our fans, it’s incredible the decision UEFA wanted to take. It’s unfair for sure. We deserve to play for qualification on the pitch, not in this way. I’m very disappointed for UEFA’s decisions.”
On whether Spurs will appeal, he added: “There’s another grade. It’s not definitive… UEFA took this decision and then there’s another step to confirm or not this incredible decision. But I repeat I’m very disappointed with UEFA because everybody knows the problem.
“Also, in explanation about this defeat, I have read that Tottenham couldn’t play the game for Covid cases. I dispute this. But they took this decision.
“We are very, very confident for the next step and I repeat we deserve to play the qualification on the pitch, not in the court. I can’t accept this.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
It definitely was not a fair decision, but COVID has led to many unfair decisions for many different clubs. Spurs would not be the first or the last. I would be surprised if they reversed the decision, but Conte seems strangely confident.
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