Tottenham Hotspur’s problematic search for a solution to their delayed stadium has taken another turn for the worse as the RFU confirmed that Twickenham will not be a potential solution to their search for a venue.
Spurs were hopeful that their new £750m home would be ready in September, but recently conceded that home fixtures against Liverpool (15 September) and Cardiff City (6 October) will be switched to Wembley because of problems with “critical safety systems.”
Their fourth home game is against Manchester City on 28 October and has been switched to a 4:00pm kick off on Sunday, which means Wembley would not be a potential venue if the new stadium was not completed in time because of an NFL match taking place at the national stadium.
The club is in talks with the Premier League about finding a venue for the match and were dealt a blow by the RFU who confirmed that Twickenham would not be an option, which leaves Tottenham scrambling to find a solution.
In April, The Independent revealed that the RFU had no plans to host any football matches at England's rugby home. "We are committed to rugby here, as well as the NFL," said RFU chief executive Steve Brown. "We don't have any plans for football at all."
City have reportedly rejected an approach from Spurs to reverse the fixture and play the match at the Etihad as the away side. Pep Guardiola’s side turned away Spurs' suggestion as it meant they would face a run of three away games in April, and the Premier League are keen to keep the match in its original state.
There is also the added complication of the Champions League. The first tie in the group stage will take place a week after the Liverpool game, and a home match will mean a third game will have to be played at Wembley.
Uefa are also closely monitoring the situation. “We are in dialogue with the club regarding their venue for the 2018/19 Uefa Champions League and will provide a further update in due course,” a Uefa spokesperson told the Press Association.
All of Tottenham’s group stage matches will be played at Wembley if the new stadium is not ready in time, and Uefa are thought to be willing to allow them to play any potential knockout stage matches in the New Year at their new home.
Spurs enter the draw of this years’ Carabao Cup next week, with fixtures commencing September 24. If the north London side are drawn at home, they will ask the EFL to reverse the tie, something the governing body did for West Ham last season while the London Stadium was being used for athletics.
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