Juve-Napoli off as visitors fail to show for game
Sources told ESPN that Napoli were not given permission by local health authorities to leave the Campania region after players Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas had tested positive for coronavirus.
Napoli asked for the match to be postponed, but saw their request rejected by Serie A. The game was officially called off 45 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said his Aurelio De Laurentiis, his Napoli counterpart, had asked him to postpone the match.
“De Laurentiis sent me a message, asking for the game to be postponed and I replied that, as always, Juventus will follow the rules,” Agnelli said. “If we don’t, we are failing as citizens rather than sportsmen.”
Healthy authorities in Naples told TV station RAI the Napoli players are in “strict quarantine” and “could face criminal charges” if they break it.
Despite being aware their opponents would not be participating, Juventus acted as though they were preparing for a match.
A starting line-up was named and tweeted from the club’s official account, while the players warmed up in front of spectators in the stadium. Napoli, meanwhile, did not name a lineup for the match.
The Campania region has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in recent days and Napoli’s squad was put into quarantine following their two positive cases.