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Antonio Conte has suggested that Tottenham will take UEFA to court over the “unfair” ruling by the governing body which consequently eliminated his side from the Europa League.
Spurs’ last group game against Rennes on December 9 was canceled late following a coronavirus outbreak at the Premier League club which saw five staff members and eight players testing positive.
With a new date unsettled for their European meeting, UEFA decided that Spurs had withdrawn and gave Rennes a 3-0 victory, knocking Conte’s side out of the competition.
However, Conte disagrees with UEFA’s decision to award Rennes the win and claimed the result may even have been influenced by “personal interest”.
“For sure it’s an incredible decision,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday presenting the EFL Cup quarter-final with West Ham. “This decision is not fair. Everyone knows we were facing a big problem like COVID.
“We didn’t play our fault but because we had a lot, a lot of players with COVID and the government decided to stop our training sessions and [shut] our training center.
“Honestly for me, the players, the club and our fans, it’s amazing the decision UEFA wanted to make. It’s certainly unfair.
“We deserve to play for qualification on the pitch, not this way. I am very disappointed with UEFA’s decision.
“I hope that in the future, in the next stage, something can change because we deserve to play for the qualification on the pitch, not in this way. It is not our fault.
“UEFA made this decision, but then there is another step to confirm or not confirm this incredible decision. But I repeat that I am very disappointed with UEFA because everyone knows the problem.
“It means that maybe someone doesn’t know about the problem we were having and maybe [there was] some personal interest [behind the decision]. “
UEFA rules state that a team cannot cancel a match if it has 13 players from its A-list, including a goalkeeper, available to play.
When asked to clarify whether the ‘next step’ means taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Conte added: “Yes. UEFA has made that decision but there is another step and we are convinced that there is another step.
“I repeat, it was amazing what UEFA did. Moreover, to explain this defeat, I read that Tottenham could not play [a rearranged] gambling because of COVID cases. I dispute this. Corn [UEFA] made that decision.
“We are very, very confident for the next step and I repeat that we deserve to play for qualification on the pitch, not on the pitch. I cannot accept that. We are very, very disappointed with UEFA for this . “
Rennes finished top of Group G and advance to the last 16 of UEFA’s European third division competition, while Vitesse – who finished three points clear of Tottenham – are set to face Rapid Vienna in the play-offs .