NEWS
Tuesday March 2 2021
Lazio-Torino: What is going on?

Lazio and the refereeing team have arrived at the Stadio Olimpico for this evening’s Serie A match, but Torino have not travelled, while the FIGC and Lega Serie A disagree on what to do.

The game is meant to kick off at 17.30 GMT, the opening fixture of the midweek Week 25 round.

However, the Granata are still in Turin after the ASL (local health authority) ordered them to stay in quarantine following an outbreak within the squad and staff with a reported 10 cases.

Torino already saw their game against Sassuolo postponed on Friday because of the COVID cases and the Serie A protocol only has one ‘free pass’ to call off a game.

It is Toro’s bad luck that means they are going into a midweek round only three days later, so have not had time to get the situation back to normality.

The local health authority is also particularly worried about this situation, because Torino are the first Serie A side to have cases of the ‘English variant’ of COVID, which is more easily transmitted and can lead to more serious effects.

There is a clear split between the FIGC President Gabriele Gravina, who said today that “it is objectively impossible to play this game,” and the Lega Serie A, who refused to postpone the match.

This is not similar to Napoli’s failed trip to Juventus in October, because that decision was made in a rush with the team already at the airport.

In this case, the Turin ASL has been clear for days that the team must remain in lockdown until at least today.

The probable course of action will be Torino receiving an automatic 3-0 defeat, but not docked a point, although they have the option to appeal.

Lazio would have to agree to postpone the match against Torino, but that is unlikely to happen because the owners of the two clubs have a long-running bitter rivalry.

Toro President Urbano Cairo owns La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, which has been very critical of Lazio and even spearheaded the investigation into the Aquile keeping some COVID positive tests hidden from the authorities.

Curiously, one of the two games affected by those incidents was Torino-Lazio, which could eventually see the three points stripped from Lazio and handed to Torino.