Juventus awarded 3-0 win and Napoli deducted a point for Turin no-show
The Serie A sports judicial authority has punished Napoli for failing to arrive at the Allianz Arena despite a spate of Covid-19 positives and a non-travel order.
The Serie A sports judicial authority has handed Napoli a one point deduction and awarded Juventus a 3-0 victory after Gennaro Gattuso’s side failed to field a team for a game at the Allianz Arena due to regional coronavirus restrictions imposed by the local health authorities in Campania.
The game between Juventus and Napoli was scheduled to take place in Turin on 4 October but after positive tests among Gattuso’s staff and squad and the regional order to avoid national travel Napoli found themselves unable to honour the fixture.
However, the judge handling the case, Gerardo Mastrandrea, said in his ruling that the protocols laid out by the Italian Football Federation contain provisions that allowed Napoli to travel to Turin for the match.
Juventus subsequently announced their intention to play the game and Napoli's request for a postponement fell on deaf ears at the offices of Serie A, who said as Gattuso technically has 13 players at his disposal there was no reason not to honour the fixture.
However, the league's stance failed to take into account the fact that the local health authority (ASL) in Campania had advised Napoli against travelling after the positive tests.
Juventus president Andrea Agenelli has drawen criticism after Juventus decided to go ahead with the match, the home side naming a starting XI before kick-off when it was clear the opposition were not going to arrive.
"It is evident that the fact that a team does not reach a stadium to play a planned match does not give a great image of Italian football. We are too provincial, and we are not concerned enough about things happening outside our borders. We are only concerned about internal matters, without understanding the damages that we do the international image of our football," Agenelli said. "There are some very clear rules and we all have to stick to them. Any industry has its rules and if we don't follow them, that is an error not just as professionals, but as citizens."
The governor of Campania, Vincenzo De Luca, called Juventus' actions "embarrassing."
"The protocols mean nothing when weighed against the law and public health. Napoli did not travel to play because the ASL prevented them from doing so and Juventus decided to go to the stadium and play with the ball boys," De Luca said.
"Nobody thanked us for not infecting Cristiano Ronaldo. Imagine this: if Napoli had travelled with several positive cases among the squad like Genoa did and the following week Ronaldo tested positive for Covid-19, we’d have made the front page of the New York Times."