The Serie A match between Juventus and Napoli turned into chaos on Sunday as the visitors were unable to show up after their team was isolated following positive tests for coronavirus.
With two positive results this week, Napoli says the local health authority ordered them not to travel. However, Serie A refused to suspend the game.
The Juventus team arrived at the stadium an hour before kick-off at 19:45 BST, but had no opponents to face. Under the rules of Serie A, Juventus would get a 3-0 victory in Sunday’s game.
The league says that the Naples Health Authority (ASL) has not taken into account the health protocol agreed between the country’s Ministry of Health and Sports and the football authorities.
This establishes that if the players test positive, the rest of the team can still train and play again, as long as they are retested and negative. The statement added that several games had been played this season after the teams had one or more players in the test.
“The protocol establishes certain rules that cannot be deviated, that allow league matches to be played even in the event of a positive result, displaying players who have tested negative,” he said.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said: “The sports rules are… clear and say that if a team does not show up, it faces disciplinary sanctions. Tomorrow the Sports Judge will speak, and based on his decision there will be more reflections.
“It is clear that the fact that a team does not arrive at a stadium to play a planned match does not give a great image of Italian football.”
Last Sunday, Napoli hosted Genoa, where 17 players tested positive for Covid-19 in the last week. Genoa’s home game against Torino on Saturday was postponed.
Serie A has ruled that matches must continue as long as each team has a minimum of 13 players available and that teams unable to play would suffer a loss.
However, teams have the right to request a postponement without losing the right if 10 players become infected in a week.
Juventus’ own team is currently in a “bubble” after two non-playing staff members recently tested positive for Covid-19.
On Saturday, when reports emerged that Napoli would not be traveling, Juventus tweeted that their team would take to the pitch the following day “as envisaged by the Serie A league schedule.”
They followed this up Sunday with more tweets, one declaring “Jornada!” and another showing his list of summoned for the meeting.