It took a little longer than we expected, but Serie A’s final verdict regarding the showdown that never happened between Juventus and Napoli has come in.
And, despite plenty of cries of foul play, it is the one many expected it to be.
Lega Serie A announced Wednesday that they have awarded Juventus the 3-0 forfeit win over Napoli after the Partenopei never showed for the Oct. 4 showdown in Turin due to COVID-19 concerns following Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elma tested positive for the virus in the days leading up to the fixture. As per the Disciplinary Commission’s findings, Napoli — which was also docked a point in the standings — didn’t follow the league’s coronavirus protocol.
Napoli, which has been steadfast in arguing that local health authorities wouldn’t have permitted the squad from traveling to the northern part of Italy, are expected to appeal the decision.
One of the main points of the Disciplinary Commission’s decision is that Napoli didn’t have enough reason to warrant not making the trip to Turin. (Which, depending on how you look at it and how concerned you are about a second club having a massive outbreak after Genoa saw over half of its roster test positive for COVID-19, is quite interesting.)
As we know, Serie A chose to go forward with the game despite Napoli’s appeals and virus concerns. That resulted in the very odd circumstance of Juventus showing up at Allianz Stadium for a match we all knew was never going to happen. There was a starting lineup announced an hour before kickoff like usual. There were even a small number of Juventus supporters in the crowd — which, knowing the current COVID-19 restrictions, must have been quite the disappointment considering not one single pass was attempted that night.
Since that game, Napoli has not seen another player test positive for COVID-19.
Juventus, on the other hand, has seen two of its players — Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennie — test positive during the international break. Three other positives have been announced by the club, all involving the Under-23 squad: coach Lamberto Zauli, defender Lucas Rosa as well as another staff member.
Both Juventus’ senior squad and the Under-23 team are currently in fiduciary isolation.