The two Italian giants were scheduled to clash in a high-profile fixture in Turin on October 4. The Partonopei were sent into a crisis as two first-team players — Piotr Zielenski and Eljif Elmas — tested positive for COVID-19 a day before the game, due to which the entire Napoli squad were forced to isolate themselves.
Due to this reason, they were unable to travel to face Juventus, who have now been handed a massive 3-0 victory.
Napoli handed loss against Juventus, fined for violation of COVID-19 rules
Gennaro Gattuso's men argued that they were prevented from travelling to the Allianz Arena in the wake of their two positive COVID-19 cases. They were asked to isolate immediately by the Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL).
Despite Napoli's appeals, Serie A's Disciplinary Commission decided that Gattuso's side did not have a good enough reason not to travel. They believed that Napoli should have followed the Italian top-flight's existing COVID-19 protocol that was agreed upon prior to the beginning of the campaign.
Ultimately, although the ASL could choose to overrule Serie A's decision, their investigation did not reveal any 'unforseen circumstances' that prevented them from travelling for their game against Juventus.
This resulted in Napoli losing a point, bringing their tally for the season down to five. They won both their opening games up until this loss and did so in an emphatic fashion, having won by scorelines of 2-0 and 6-0 against Parma and Genoa respectively.
Serie A's COVID-19 regulations are similar to those of UEFA's, which state that if a club has 13 available players including a goalkeeper, they would be allowed to go ahead with the game. Although Napoli are expected to launch an appeal for their result against Juventus, it remains unclear if this decision will be overruled or not.
Elsewhere, Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday while on international duty with Portugal. The striker is set to isolate himself for ten days at the very least and will miss a minimum of three games, including the Selecao's clash against Sweden in the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.
Ronaldo's Juventus teammate Weston McKennie has also tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and is set to be sidelined, leaving Juventus short on personnel ahead of the return of club football.
Published 14 Oct 2020, 23:02 IST