Tottenham have confirmed that their Premier League trip to Brighton, which had been due to take place on Sunday, has been postponed following a Covid-19 outbreak at the north London outfit.
Eight players and five members of staff tested positive for Spurs in the build-up to a Europa Conference League match with Rennes on Thursday, leaving the club severely limited in terms of selection options.
That fixture had to be called off, much to the annoyance of French visitors to the English capital, and a similar course of action has been taken in domestic competition.
A statement released on Spurs’ official website reads: “We can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brighton & Hove Albion, on Sunday 12 December at 2pm, has been postponed following a Premier League Board meeting this afternoon (Thursday).
“The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone the game following guidance from medical advisers, with the health of players and staff the priority. The fixture will be rescheduled in due course.
“The Club requested the match to be rearranged following a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases among players and relevant staff.
“As with our other affected fixture, against Stade Rennais in the Europa Conference League, we shall update supporters with more information as soon as it is available.
“We should like to apologise to everyone at Stade Rennais and Brighton & Hove Albion and to both their supporters and ours for any inconvenience caused.
“We should also like to thank both clubs for their understanding during these challenging times.”
They had previously said heading into contentinal action: “We can confirm that our UEFA Europa Conference League Group G home fixture against Stade Rennais will not take (Thursday 9 December at 8pm UK) after a number of positive Covid-19 cases at the Club.
“Discussions are ongoing with UEFA and we shall provide a further update on this fixture in due course.
“Additionally, following discussions with the Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and DCMS advisers, the Club has been advised to close the First Team area of its Training Centre at this time, in the interests of the health and safety of players and staff.
“All other areas of the Training Centre remain operational.”
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has acknowledged that the outbreak represents a nightmare situation for the club and its employees.
“Eight players and five members of staff but the problem is that every day we’re having people with Covid, people that yesterday weren’t positive and today are, and we’re continuing to have contact with. It’s a serious problem,” the Italian told reporters at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference, prior to the meeting with Rennes being cancelled.
“Everyone is a bit scared. People have families. Why do we have to take the risk? This is my question. Today, two positives. And tomorrow, who? Me? I don’t know. Better me than a player for sure. But I think it’s not right for everyone. We have contact with our families.”