UPDATE NO. 3: According to Nico Schira of La Gazzetta dello Sport, there has been no signs of Napoli making the trip to Turin. The club is still trying to negotiate with Lega Serie A when it comes to postponing Sunday night’s game against Juventus as a result of positive COVID-19 tests. As it stands now, Napoli has to decide between traveling to Turin and playing or being handed a 3-0 forfeit loss.
Non ci sono segnali di una partenza del #Napoli nelle prossime ore per Torino. I legali del club azzurro stanno dialogando con la Lega di #SerieA per evitare lo 0-3 a tavolino contro la #Juventus e ottenere il rinvio della gara causa #COVID19— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) October 3, 2020
UPDATE NO. 2: Italian news outlet ANSA is reporting that Napoli were in fact NOT banned from traveling north to Turin by local health authorities Saturday night.
It was reported earlier in the day that Napoli had been banned from traveling by ASL, the local health authority, as a result of a second player testing positive for COVID-19. That, in turn, threw Napoli’s game against Juventus scheduled for Sunday night at Allianz Stadium into complete flux.
But, with ANSA’s report, there are now doubts as to whether a travel ban has been put into place. If there is no ban, then Napoli could — in theory — make the trip to Turin the day of the game and play Juventus as scheduled Sunday. As we already know, Juventus has said they are set to go through with the game as scheduled and Lega Serie A has confirmed in a statement Saturday night that the fixture should take place.
UPDATE NO. 1: As we get close to midnight in Italy, Lega Serie A have confirmed that the Juventus-Napoli game scheduled for Sunday night at 8:45 p.m. local time in Turin will go forward as scheduled. This means Napoli will indeed forfeit if they do not show up.
Check back here for more updates as they become available.
La Lega Serie A conferma che la gara Juventus - Napoli, valida per la terza giornata di Serie A TIM, resta in programma per il 4 ottobre alle ore 20.45— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) October 3, 2020
With Napoli announcing a second player has tested positive for coronavirus Saturday, it looked like we were headed to a situation where Sunday’s showdown in Turin against Juventus would be postponed and that would be that.
But, remember, this is Italy and Serie A and, despite all the good they did to suppress the virus in the spring and early summer, not many things are done all that logically.
Following local authorities saying Napoli can’t leave Naples and travel north to Turin due to the outbreak at the club, Juventus announced Saturday night that they plan to show up at Allianz Stadium regardless of what travel restrictions are currently in place due to the virus. Essentially, Juve have told Napoli that they intend to play the game Sunday night as scheduled or they will risk a forfeit.
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.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 3, 2020
Napoli have yet to respond, although it was reported Saturday morning to Napoli’s front office had already expressed their apprehension about going forward with the match well before the latest positive test or the travel restrictions were announced.
All of this stems back to Napoli’s game against Genoa last weekend, which in hindsight should have never been allowed to be played based on how many positive virus cases have come out of it. The vast majority of those are Genoa players, but Napoli has seen two players and a staff member test positive in the last 48 hours.
Juventus announced earlier Saturday that two staff members had tested positive for coronavirus and the entire team had been placed into fiduciary isolation. According to the statement put out by the club, “These are neither players nor members of the technical or medical staff, however, in compliance with the regulations and the protocol, the whole extended team, as of this moment, has gone into fiduciary isolation. This procedure will allow all members who tested negative to the controls to carry out regular training and match activities, but will not be allowed contact with outside the group.”
As a country, Italy has seen COVID-19 gradually increase over the last few weeks. They reported over 2,499 cases Saturday, the country’s highest daily total since late April when their curve was on a major downward trend.