Juventus club president Andrea Agnelli defended the club’s decision to announce the matchday squad and field the playing XI for their Serie A match against Napoli despite knowing that Gennaro Gattuso’s men hadn’t travelled to Turin for the match. Napoli were barred from travelling to Turin for their Serie A 2020-21 clash against Juventus after two members in the team tested positive for COVID-19. The Naples-based club requested to postpone the game which was rejected by both Juventus and the Serie A. Juventus vs Napoli Serie A 2020–21: Fans Mock Turin Giants After Refusal to Postpone Match Despite Knowing Napoli Players Were in ‘Strict Quarantine’.

Napoli Midfielder Piotr Zielinski and staffer Giandomenico Costi returned with positive results after Napoli’s home match against Genoa, who reported that 19 members in the team have contracted the virus. Napoli were set to travel to Turin with the remainder of the squad barring the two with COVID-19 cases but were stopped by the local health authorities, who believed that there could be an outbreak if the players travelled to another City. The entire Napoli squad have been sent into ‘strict isolation’. Juventus vs Napoli, Serie A 2020–21: Match Called-Off As Visitors Fail to Show-Up Due to Quarantine; Hosts Set to Be Awarded 3–0 Win.

Juventus, however, refused to postpone the match despite a call from Napoli president to cancel the game. The Serie A champions named their matchday squad and even sent the players out for training. The match was eventually called-off by the referee after 45 minutes and Juventus are set to be awarded full points and a 3-0 win with Napoli forfeiting the game.

Club president Agnelli appeared before the media after the match was called-off and defended the club’s actions, which many said were unsportsmanlike. Juventus were trolled online and mocked for naming a starting XI despite being aware that the match won’t be taking place.

“I am here because it is only right that we express our opinion. We need clarity. There are protocols that are very clear for situations like this, the situation was predictable, that there would be one or two COVID cases in the matchday squad,” Agnelli told the media.“At that point, we go to the protocol passed by the CTS and the Lega Serie A, which is that we go into fiduciary isolation at a structure agreed with the ASL.

“That allows us all to go into the structure, to continue training and playing when tested regularly. There is clarity, the Federation worked well with the Ministry for Health and CTS to make sure we all know what needs to be done. Juventus discovered there were two COVID cases yesterday, so naturally we all went into the bubble so we’d be ready to play this game,” he added.

He also revealed that Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had messaged asking for the gam to be postponed. “His message was to postpone the game, which can well be a legitimate request, but 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.”

With Napoli not turning up for the match due to the quarantine rules, they are set to be punished with a penalty point and a 3-0 defeat. The match will be forfeited due to a no-show from Napoli and full points are set to be awarded Juventus.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 05, 2020 04:15 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).