UEFA in dramatic Tottenham twist that could see easier route for Celtic

By Euan Davidson

December 11, 2021

UEFA have announced that potential Celtic Europa Conference League opponents Tottenham Hotspur could be kicked out of the competition.

With a battle on for second place in Group G [UEFA], Tottenham’s Thursday night game against Rennes could’ve been pivotal in deciding the outcome of the group. However, the game was abandoned due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases. Now, Spurs’ case will be decided by UEFA.

UEFA could not find a suitable alternative date for the game before the deadline of December 31st. As such, the European governing body have issued a statement.

Photo by Richard Juilliart – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

UEFA said [Via Sky Sports]:

“Unfortunately, despite all efforts, a solution that could work for both clubs could not be found.

“As a consequence, the match can no longer be played and the matter will, therefore, be referred to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body for a decision to be taken in accordance with Annex J of the above-mentioned competition regulations.”

For clarity’s sake, Annex J means that if a club can’t commit to a fixture, the forfeit the game 3-0.

Spurs were one of one the teams Celtic could’ve been drawn against on Monday, having dropped out of the Europa League despite securing 9 points. The others are Bodø/Glimt, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Randers, Partizan Belgrade, Slavia Prague, PAOK, Qarabag and Spurs’ group rivals Vitesse.

Celtic will be watching Tottenham and UEFA situation with interest

There are still plenty of good teams in the Europa Conference League, let’s not get it twisted. But Spurs, even with their struggles this season, were probably the biggest club in the competition alongside Roma.

It would’ve been a money-spinner for Celtic, had they drawn Tottenham. Imagine two legs of a Scotland v England European tie? The memories of Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City come to mind.

With Covid-19 looking to cause chaos in football again, we could sadly see more scenes of disruption in the sport. Just when we thought we had turned a corner, too.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

A lot of Celtic supporters would certainly have wanted Tottenham. That includes Chris Sutton, who said [BT Sport]: “I’d love a Battle of Britain. Spurs, Conte, they’re not in great form. I think Celtic would take Spurs.

“Back in the day we used to beat the English teams. It’d be nice to see, wouldn’t it? A Scottish team beating a Premier League team, with all the riches down south?

“It’d be good for the game!”

It doesn’t look as if that’ll happen. And while there are still plenty of threats for Celtic to face, one of the biggest might’ve dropped out.

Read more: Celtic finally showing backbone over SFA ref chief is great news; but what comes next is vital