Antonio Conte says Tottenham are considering appealing UEFA’s “unfair” decision to award Rennes a 3-0 win in their postponed Europa Conference League game.
Spurs’ final group game against Rennes on December 9 was called off following a coronavirus outbreak at the London club.
UEFA later said the game could not be rescheduled and referred the matter to its disciplinary body, with the outcome that Spurs forfeited the match and therefore elimination from the third-tier European competition.
- Tottenham out of Europa Conference League
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Conte called the decision “incredible” and says the club could take the matter to the Court for Arbitration of Sport.
“It is not definitive, but there is another step to confirm or not this incredible decision,” he said.
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“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. We are very, very disappointed with UEFA for this decision.
“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 decision.
“I don’t want to understand but I hope in the future, in the next step, something can change because we deserve to play for qualification on the pitch, not in this way. It’s not our fault.”
On the eve of the Rennes game earlier this month, Conte revealed eight players of Tottenham’s first-team squad and five staff members had tested positive for Covid-19 which led to the first-team training centre being shut.
Sanchez: UEFA forfeit decision unfair
Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez says it’s ‘unfair’ that UEFA ruled the club forfeited their final Europa Conference League match against Rennes following a Covid-19 outbreak at the club
On Monday, Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez expressed his own frustration at UEFA’s decision to rule the club forfeited their home match against Rennes.
“Having a right to play, it is not fair for us [that UEFA] just say you are out of the competition,” he told Sky Sports News.
“More [so] knowing that you didn’t play the game because of the Covid cases.
“We prepared the game, we were focused, we were doing everything to play Rennes. 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.”
Neville: Conte’s Spurs will strike fear into rivals
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s match with Liverpool in the Premier League
Tottenham are unbeaten in the Premier League under Conte – winning three and drawing two – and though they are six points behind Arsenal in fourth, they do have three games in hand.
“Conte is a great manager, you can see the influence he’s had on this group. The energy compared to how they were before, the stadium is electric, and it was brilliant in here all the way through the game.
“You can see him on the touchline. The emotions. He cares passionately and is desperate to win.
“He’ll be disappointed with the chances missed because I think he set up his team perfectly, but also proud and realise he’s got a good group of players here. We started to question that over the last 12-18 months.
“Were this team over the hill and were they spent under Mauricio Pochettino and as good as it can get? But they’ve shown a performance today that can tell us they can really be competitive and push for the top four.
“It will strike a little bit of fear into Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham, all the others with aspirations to be up there. This Tottenham team are going to be real in the next four to five months.”
How Winks looked reborn under Conte
Harry Winks' stats for Tottenham against Liverpool
“Harry Winks is working very hard. He impressed me in training sessions with his commitment, his will, his desire. I think he is a really good player.”
Antonio Conte’s assessment of Winks will surprise some Tottenham supporters who seemed prepared to give up on the 25-year-old midfielder, his progress having stalled. But Winks’ performance in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool showed something different.
The assumption was that Conte would be anxious to bring in new players and that may remain the case. But one of the benefits of appointing a world-class manager is that they are able to coax more from the existing squad. With Winks, the early signs are promising…
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