Saturday March 21 2020
Lawyer: 'Who allowed Higuain to leave?'

A lawyer studying the Coronavirus pandemic and its implications can’t believe Juventus allowed Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira to leave.

Daniele Rugani was the first Serie A player to test positive and Blaise Matuidi has since followed, so 121 people connected to the club went into self-isolation.

It was meant to be for 14 days, but Higuain, Pjanic and Khedira left just seven days into their quarantine.

Juve insist they tested negative and their isolation was “voluntary,” so could be broken at any time.

“This situation leaves me at the very least perplexed,” lawyer Rinaldo Romanelli told the Corriere dello Sport.

“The quarantine is 14 days, as stated in the Health Minister’s decree on February 21, 2020. There are no ‘discounts’ mentioned, and this was only reiterated in the following versions of the decree.

“As for ‘voluntary isolation,’ that is not a legal definition that appears anywhere. There is the trust of self-isolation for those who come from red zones, and quarantine with active surveillance for those who ‘had close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.’

“The definition of ‘close contact’ given by the Health Ministry includes even a handshake or having been in the same closed space, so being in the same dressing room or training together would qualify.

“Therefore, Rugani’s teammates should’ve been put under quarantine for at least 14 days. Not up to 14 days, no reductions or alternative protocols other than for truly exceptional circumstances.”

Higuain wanted to fly back to Argentina because his mother is gravely ill, having suffered from cancer for four years.

“The exceptional circumstances would be military personnel returning from overseas or health workers who in an emergency situation can be rushed back if they represent no risk for themselves or others. It certainly does not apply to players,” continued the specialist lawyer.

“What I want to know is who authorised this? There are no laws or decrees that state someone can leave their home early from quarantine, let alone leave the country.

“The fact they were allowed to leave only seven-eight days after one of their teammates tested positive, that makes it even stranger. I hope those who took this decision considered the situation carefully, including the legal ramifications.”

Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuain’s brother Nicolas pleaded on Twitter for some “privacy and understanding. Our mother has been very ill for four years with cancer and is continuing her battle.”

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