UPDATE – Match Cancelled
Confusion reigned over one of the top Serie A fixtures of the season on Sunday as Juventus prepared as usual to host Napoli, while local media reported that the visitors had been unable to travel due to an order from their local health authority.
Juventus, who said on Saturday that they would take the field, wrote simply “Matchday” in a post on Twitter accompanied by a photograph of forward Cristiano Ronaldo and the time and venue of the match.
The club went further and announced the list of the players called up for the match.
However, Sky Sport Italia and other media said that Napoli, where two players have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last four days, had not left for Turin and were preparing to go into a team quarantine.
The reports said that the local health authority in Naples had not allowed Napoli to travel as a precaution following the positive cases. There was no official comment from either the team or the health authority, however. Unless Serie A orders the match to be postponed, Napoli would forfeit the game 3-0.
Either way, it would be a huge embarrassment for Italian football if at a showpiece match one team and match officials turned up and were left waiting around.
Last Sunday, Napoli hosted Genoa, where 17 players have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week. Genoa’s match at home to Torino on Saturday was postponed.
Serie A has ruled that matches should go ahead provided each team has a minimum of 13 players available and that teams who cannot play would suffer a forfeit. However, teams have the right once in the season to ask for a postponement without forfeiting if 10 players are infected within one week.