NEWS
Saturday October 3 2020
Was there a travel ban on Napoli or not?

News agency ANSA claims Napoli were not banned from travelling to Turin by local authorities, in which case Juventus could expect a 3-0 victory by default.

There is a procedural row erupting and it’s not clear who is going to make the final decision on a game that is supposed to be played on Sunday evening.

It was reported this afternoon that Napoli had been banned from travelling to Turin by the ASL, the local health authority, due to their two COVID-19 positive cases for Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas.

If that was true, then Napoli could argue they were forced to stay behind and therefore the local authority protocol over-rules the Lega Serie A protocol.

If there was no ban or order to remain at home, then it would be Napoli’s own choice not to attend the match, leaving them open to forfeiting the game 3-0.

The Lega Serie A protocol is the same as the UEFA one, so as long as a team has 13 players available including a goalkeeper, the game can go ahead.

Although there has been a great deal of speculation, Napoli have not made any statement on the situation at all, including the fact they have not travelled this evening as expected.

All we have is therefore a report from news agency ANSA, who claim they saw the release from the local health authority, and it does not explicitly ban the team from travelling.

A version of the ASL statement was leaked, showing Napoli were asked to place certain players and coach Gennaro Gattuso into 'fiduciary isolation' - that is not technically a travel ban.

Indeed, Juventus are also in fiduciary isolation following two COVID cases in their staff today, yet they are ready to play tomorrow.

This is why Juventus released a statement making their position clear – prove it was beyond your control or accept the consequences.

“Juventus Football Club announces that the First Team will take to the field for the Juventus - Napoli match tomorrow at 20:45, as foreseen by the Serie A League calendar.”

La Repubblica reports the Lega Serie A will not order the postponement of the match either, leaving the decision to the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) or the Disciplinary Commission.

Napoli are therefore running a huge risk of losing the game by default if they cannot prove the local authorities over-ruled the sporting protocol.