Antonio Conte confirms Tottenham WILL take legal action against UEFA for dumping them out of the Europa Conference League… with Italian claiming ‘personal interests’ were behind the decisions
- UEFA ruled Spurs must forfeit their final Europa Conference League group game
- That saw Vitesse Arnhem and Rennes qualify from the group stages instead
- Spurs officials were left angered by the decision to award a 3-0 win to Rennes
- But boss Antonio Conte has now confirmed the club are planning on a challenge
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has suggested the club are readying themselves to challenge UEFA’s decision to controversially kick them out of the Europa Conference League.
Sportsmail revealed on Monday Spurs were considering legal action after UEFA ruled they must forfeit their final group game against Rennes, which was postponed earlier this month due to a Covid outbreak at the north London club.
Spurs officials were left angered by the decision on Monday to award a 3-0 win to Rennes, with Conte saying last week it would be unfair if his team were to forfeit the match given the circumstances of the postponement on December 9.
Antonio Conte has confirmed Tottenham are planning to challenge UEFA’s decision to kick them out of the Europa Conference League
UEFA ruled Spurs must forfeit their final Europa Conference League group game against Rennes
Spurs officials were left angered by UEFA’s ruling on Monday to award a 3-0 win to Rennes
But Conte said the club is ‘very, very confident for the next step’ regarding a possible legal battle with UEFA, which could end up at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
‘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,’ Conte said ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final at home to West Ham.
‘There’s another grade. It’s [an appeal] 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.
Tottenham had to close their training ground earlier this month following a Covid outbreak
‘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.
‘I’m very disappointed with UEFA because everybody knows the problem…maybe some personal interests [were involved].’
Tottenham were forced to close their training ground after Covid swept through the squad and staff, but officials were still keen to play the game against the Ligue 1 outfit before New Year’s Eve, only to be left angered by the governing body’s ruling.
But now the club could be set for a legal battle with UEFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
As revealed by Sportsmail, they even offered to play Rennes on Monday this week – just 24 hours after their 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool.
Spurs were also willing to cede home advantage and play the match at Rennes but a new date for the fixture could not be agreed, which led centre-back Davinson Sanchez to express his frustration at the decision.
‘Having a right to play, it is not fair to us to just say, ‘Ok, you are out of the competition”, he told Sky Sports News.
‘More so knowing that we didn’t play the game because of the Covid cases. We prepared for the game, we were focused, we were doing everything to play Rennes.
Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez described UEFA’s decision as ‘completely unfair’
‘It was the night before that we got the news that the game was not going to be played.
‘I think it is a bit unfair for us as a club, for our fans because it was a competition that we were struggling playing away from home but we still had a chance to stay in the competition so it is completely unfair.’
For the moment however, Monday’s decision means Dutch outfit Vitesse have joined Rennes in progressing from Group G to the knockout stages of the inaugural edition of the competition.