COVID-19: Napoli faces forfeiture after failing to show up for Juventus clash

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Napoli could be handed a 3-0 loss after failing to turn up for the clash against Juventus in Turin on Sunday.

Juventus had prepared for the game after the Italian football authority turned down Napoli’s request to postpone the game due to two positive cases of COVID-19 in their squad.

The Pertonopei then failed to show up for the game. Under Serie A rules, Juventus would be handed a 3-0 win in the match, which was due to kick-off at 8.45 pm local time.

Juve players had arrived the tunnel with the hope that Napoli will make it

A Napoli spokesman revealed that the team had been placed into isolation by the health authority (ASL) after two players, midfielders Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas, tested positive in the last four days.

He therefore said the club would challenge any decision to forfeit the game.

Juventus reacts

Reacting to the situation, Juventus explained that they stuck to the protocol when they had positive cases, suggesting that Napoli did not.

This is following the decision of the Bianconeri and Lega Serie A, who said the evidence presented by Napoli was not sufficient to request a postponement of the Week 3 match.

The ASL (local health authority) in Naples in another statement on Sunday night confirmed that they urged the squad to self-isolate following Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas positive tests.

“The statement contains nothing new. In this specific case, the moment a positive case is registered, there has to immediately be a bubble imposed.

“That is what we did with the players, staff, medical staff, and matchday group when we had two positive tests this week. There are also the swabs, again as per protocol, which came back negative and we are therefore able to play the game.

“I do not know if Napoli did the same. I only know that we imposed the protocol and followed it to the letter,” Juventus medic Luca Stefanini told Sky Sport Italia.

Other Serie A teams have registered several COVID-19 cases, but they did not postpone their games. The only postponed was Genoa-Torino after the Grifone registered 22 cases in the matchday squad, which include 17 players.