The biggest question coming out of Saturday night’s craziness where Juventus’ early season showdown with Napoli was suddenly thrown into total flux was whether or not the Partenopei would actually end up making the trip to Turin.
As of around noon in Italy on Sunday, it’s not looking good.
According to Sky Sport Italia just before noon Sunday, Napoli have still not made the trip north to Turin ahead of the scheduled fixture due to ongoing issues stemming from recent COVID-19 positive tests. Juventus, as they declared Saturday night, intend to take the field regardless of whether Napoli are there or not, which will result in the Italian champions being awarded a 3-0 forfeit victory. As Sky Italia states, Napoli are already preparing to fight the decision to not postpone the match legally via an appeal if there is no resolution found.
Regardless of Napoli’s status, Juventus are currently going through a training session at Continassa as of this writing, where they have also undergone COVID-19 testing, one would assume.
Essentially, what will happen if there is not some kind of postponement agreement — which seems pretty unlikely at this point based on how much tension there is — will be the following steps:
- Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo will submit his lineup an hour before kickoff per usual.
- The referees will take the field 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time — in this case around 8:30 p.m. local time — and recognize the players. Obviously, they will know by then whether Napoli is actually in the stadium, so this part is just a mere formality.
- At 8:45 p.m. local time, the game “kicks off.”
- After 45 minutes, the referees will officially declare the scoresheet closed and award Juventus the 3-0 win via forfeit due to the opposing team, in this case Napoli, not showing up.
The clear fear on Napoli’s part is a repeat of what has happened at Genoa following last weekend’s game in Naples. In a little over a week, 17 Genoa players have tested positive for COVID-19, with another three cases — Davide Biraschi, Domenico Criscito and Darian Males — being announced Saturday. Napoli announced that same day that a second player, Eljif Elmas, tested positive for COVID-19.
And yet, with everything going on, we still got this from Juventus’ Twitter account just a few short minutes ago:
Hey, do you, I guess.