Tottenham Hotspur would be forced to forfeit their place in this season’s Europa League if coronavirus travel restrictions made it impossible for them to host a tie.
The UK is constantly reviewing their policy on travel amid the threat of a second wave of coronavirus taking hold across Europe, with travellers from Spain currently required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in the country.
Having finished sixth in the Premier League, Spurs face three one-off Europa League matches in order to reach the group stages of the competition next season.
The first of these will take place on September 17, with the next two scheduled for the following two weeks.
Spurs would be heavy favourites to make it through the ties against some of European football’s lesser lights, but there is a series of events which would see Jose Mourinho’s men have to bow out of the competition.
As outlined in a Twitter thread by ESPN’s Dale Johnson, new guidelines and regulations from UEFA dictate that clubs must put forward a suitable neutral venue to host matches if they were drawn at home but their opposition were unable to travel to their country.
Should a club fail to agree to this proposal then their opposition would be awarded a victory and a place in the next round.
However, if a country placed travel restrictions on people visiting from another country after the draw has been made and the match details decided, then there is the potential for the club hosting the tie to have to be expelled from the competition.
That could leave Spurs in danger of being eliminated in the qualifying rounds should they arrange for a match to be played at home, only for the UK to then ban travel from the country that their opposition would be visiting from.
This remains an unlikely proposition though, and there are exemptions that can be made, such as for Real Madrid for their Champions League tie at Manchester City this Friday.