Tottenham Hotspur have been disqualified from the Europa Conference League, after UEFA ruled that the English club forfeited their match against Rennes earlier this month.
Spurs were due to face Stade Rennais in London in the last group stage game on Thursday, December 9. A win would have allowed Spurs to qualify for the knockout round play-off.
Rennais refused to postpone the game despite an outbreak of COVID at Tottenham, with at least eight players and five staff members affected by the virus.
Europe’s governing body has now ruled that Spurs forfeited the game, resulting in an automatic 3-0 defeat which leaves them third in their group.
Antonio Conte’s side needed a win in their final group game to progress, having amassed only seven points from their opening five outings – including defeat to Slovenian minnows NS Mura.
Spurs were adjudged to have acted against competition rules in calling the match off, with those rules stating that a team must fulfil their fixture as long as they have 13 available players including a goalkeeper.
“We are disappointed by the ruling of the UEFA Appeals Body and the refusal to allow more time for the match to be rescheduled.
“We have to accept this ruling, however, and our focus now turns to the competitions we remain in,” read a statement from Spurs.
Tottenham also saw their following two Premier League games – against Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City – called off due to COVID-19.