Juventus scales team, Napoli does not appear on the field: will visitors lose by WO?

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Gattuso’s team did not travel to Turin after new coronavirus cases, which ran counter to Serie A guidance

Juventus can score three points in highly controversial circumstances after taking the field at Allianz Stadium to face Napoli on Sunday despite their opponent’s absence.

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Visitors were prevented from traveling to Turin by local health officials after two players, Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas, tested positive for Covid-19 with another club official.

The game was officially canceled 45 minutes after the opening whistle by the referee, a decision that will likely be highly contested by the visitors following the Italian.

Gennaro Gattuso’s team expressed hope of being able to postpone the match, just as Genoa did before facing Torino and after registering ten cases of new coronavirus at the club.

Despite this, however, the Bianconeri announced on Saturday that they would enter the field regardless of the lack of opponents, indicating that the match could therefore be lost by the visitors, with the home team winning 3-0 as provided by the regulation in case of WO.

This decision must be defined in the coming days in the sports courts of the country of the boot. For now, Serie A updated the league table without a definite result for the clash that did not happen within the four lines.

Juve president Andrea Agnelli spoke after the match was canceled: “the president of Napoli [Aurelio] De Laurentiis texted me and I replied that (we), as always, we abide by the rules. He wanted to postpone the game, but we have regulations that tell us how to proceed. Each sector has its rules and we need to respect them. I don’t think the ASL (local health authority) in Naples can intervene (…) I always prefer to win on the field ”, he declared

Coach Andrea Pirlo made three changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Roma in the previous game, with Paulo Dybala, Arthur and Rodrigo Bentancur joining the starting lineup against Napoli – evidently if the match had taken place.

Serie A reinforced Juventus’ position ahead of Sunday’s game, stating that there are no laws preventing Napoli from being on the pitch despite positive tests.

“The Council of Lega Calcio has also approved a set of rules that could lead to the postponement of a game with only several cases of players who tested positive for the virus,” the league announced in a statement. “These conditions cannot be applied to the current Napoli case at the moment and there are no decisions by local authorities to prevent the game from being played.”

Napoli have won the first two matches of this season, while Juve have won four points so far. Therefore, if WO and 3-0 are confirmed, the team of Cristiano Ronaldo and company would surpass the rival in the table.



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