UEFA’s venue rules could force Tottenham to play their entire Champions League campaign at Wembley this season.
Spurs have confirmed scheduled Premier League matches against Liverpool and Cardiff City in September and October will no longer take place at the new stadium. They will instead take place at Wembley.
A decision is still pending on where the club’s Champions League games will take place, but Wembley is believed to be the most likely destination for at least the first group match.
In theory, Tottenham will then play the remainder of their European matches at the new White Hart Lane-based stadium. However, a UEFA rule could prevent that from happening.
The rule states that teams must play all of their Champions League games “at one and the same venue.” That means Spurs will have to play all of their European matches at Wembley if they play their first one there.
However, exceptions are sometimes made. Here is the rule in full:
“24.05 In principle, a club must play all its matches in the competition at one and the same venue. As of the play-offs the venue can be changed only based on a UEFA decision. A venue may be the ground of the home club or another ground in the same or another city within the territory of its association. Exceptionally the UEFA administration may accept a venue in the territory of another UEFA member association if no other suitable venue is available on the home territory. In principle, match venues are approved only if direct international flights and/or charter flights are able to land within an acceptable distance of the venue, in the country of the club concerned. All match venues are subject to the approval of the UEFA administration.”
The Premier League’s rules are similar, but Tottenham have been allowed to play a small number of games at Wembley before moving to the new stadium.
Whether UEFA will allow that to happen in the Champions League remains to be seen.