The Serie A clash between Napoli and Juventus on Sunday (local time) was called off as the former failed to turn up to the venue due to coronavirus ruling. Napoli were blocked from coming to Turin by local health authorities as their two players, Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas, tested positive for COVID-19 along with a member of staff at the club, Goal.com reported. Juventus anyhow took the field even when their opponents did not show up and in the end, the game was officially cancelled 45 minutes after kick-off by the referee.
As per a report in Goal.com, this controversial sequence of events may result in Juventus being handed points as they took the field despite the absence of their supporters. “Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis sent me a message and I replied that we, as always, abide by the rules. He wanted to postpone the match, but we have regulations that tell us how to proceed. Every industry has its rules and we need to respect them,” Goal.com quoted Juventus president Andrea Agnelli as saying.
“I don’t think the ASL [local health authority] of Naples can intervene if the FIGC protocol, which refers back to the government’s circular, is not observed at some point. If the protocol changes, we will once again abide by it,” he added. Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo had made three changes to the side for the match against Napoli as Paulo Dybala, Arthur, and Rodrigo Bentancur were all drafted into the starting line-up for the match.
Napoli and Juventus are currently in the fifth and eighth positions respectively in the Serie A 2020-21 standings.
Napoli will next lock horns with Atalanta on October 17 while Juventus will face Crotone on the same day.