Earlier on Wednesday, a visibly upset and admittedly "scared" Antonio Conte confirmed to reporters that at least eight Tottenham Hotspur players and five staff members had tested positive for COVID-19 amid a virus outbreak that threatened the club's Europa Conference League match versus Stade Rennais scheduled for Thursday night.
Tottenham have now announced that game has been called off.
"Discussions are ongoing with UEFA and we shall provide a further update on this fixture in due course," Tottenham added about the match they have to win to control their destiny for the tournament's knockout rounds.
"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."
The Athletic's Charlie Eccleshare suggested via Twitter Tottenham ultimately could be made to forfeit Thursday's game:
Interesting that the #THFC statement doesn't mention a postponement, and instead just says that the game "will not take place tomorrow."— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) December 8, 2021
Understand that Spurs are trying to reschedule the game. Not yet confirmed whether UEFA will agree to this request. https://t.co/E6nG2q517e
Great spot by @CDEccleshare that Spurs' statement doesn't actually use the word 'postponement'. A new date would be tough before UEFA's December 31 deadline for group games and Rennes' Ligue 1 winter break begins on December 22. https://t.co/WWXcEaAGWX— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) December 8, 2021
As Alasdair Gold notes for Football.London, Wednesday's update essentially scraps Tottenham's Premier League game at Brighton & Hove Albion set for Sunday. Since it's unknown when Tottenham will be cleared to resume standard training sessions, next Thursday's league contest against Leicester City and the game versus Liverpool on Dec. 19 are also in doubt.
Tottenham's pause comes as the Lilywhites sit fifth in the Premier League table with 25 points, just two points off the Champions League places.