Eight players have tested positive for the coronavirus at Brighton and Hove Albion’s next opponents, Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said that eight players and five members of staff had tested positive for the virus after an outbreak at the club – and he expected more confirmed cases.
Spurs will, however, have to play their Europa Conference League game against Rennes on tomorrow night (Thursday 9 December), with UEFA rules much stricter regarding the minimum number of players available.
It remains unclear whether the club will ask for their Premier League match at the Amex Stadium in Falmer on Sunday (12 December) to be postponed.
At a virtual press conference this afternoon (Wednesday 8 December), Conte said: “Every day we are having people with covid, people who were not positive yesterday. This is not a good situation.”
The press conference was due to take place at the club’s Hotspur Way training centre, with Conte joined by the side’s Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
But facing the media alone, Conte said: “To speak about football today is impossible. The last situation made me very upset. The situation is serious. There is a big infection.
“We prepare for the game against Rennes, but it is very difficult. Again at the end of the session, one player (tested) positive, another staff (member) positive. Tomorrow, who (will it be)?
“Now, for sure, we are a bit scared because tomorrow we don’t know what happens.”
An emotional Conte said that the situation was “so strange and incredible”, adding: “This for sure makes me upset because I am here to talk about football, about my players and the atmosphere that I want to see tomorrow. Instead, we are talking about the people that have covid.”
Conte was not able to say whether it was the omicron variant at the centre of the outbreak but he said that he had been vaccinated.
Referring to the vaccine take-up within his squad, the Spurs boss said: “I think everyone takes (their own) best decision and is a question for the medical department about people that whether they are vaccinated or not.”
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