Tottenham suffer another blow in aim to play Champions League football at new stadium this season
Tottenham Hotspur’s latest delay to the opening of their new stadium has put another question mark against whether or not the club will manage to play Champions League football in it this season.
Crystal Palace’s progression in the FA Cup means the earliest opening date has now been put back to April 6, when Spurs are due to face Brighton.
But that game is also in doubt because Brighton remain in the cup and would be due to play a semi-final tie on that weekend if they progress past the quarter-finals.
The first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals are scheduled to be played on April 9-10 and Tottenham could have an issue if they are drawn to play at home first – assuming they do not blow a 3-0 first leg lead over Borussia Dortmund.
It is rated highly unlikely that Spurs would be able to open their new stadium with a midweek game or for a particularly high-profile event, such as a Champions League quarter-final.
That means that unless Tottenham can open the stadium against Brighton, then they would most likely be forced to play the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final at Wembley if it was at ‘home’.
The second legs of the quarter-finals take place on April 16 and 17, which would give Spurs a much better chance of playing at their new stadium because it is straight after a Premier League home game against Huddersfield Town.
Uefa have not ruled out the possibility of allowing Tottenham to play Champions League football in their new stadium and, like for the last 16, will let them confirm the venue for a quarter-final home tie nearer the date.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he fears Tottenham may not get into their new stadium this season, following a string of delays, and Telegraph Sport revealed some of his players are also having doubts.
Spurs are yet to announce the two test events required to obtain the necessary safety certificate to officially open the new stadium, having confirmed the north London derby against Arsenal on March 2 will be at Wembley.
Spurs travel to Dortmund three days later for the second leg of their last 16 tie against Dortmund, with Pochettino’s team leading by three goals. Due to the FA Cup and international break, they will have to wait three weeks to play again after facing Southampton on March 9.