Juventus take to the pitch in Turin as Napoli forced to stay home due to COVID-19

For Italian football club Juventus, Sunday night’s game against rivals Napoli was a regular weekend fixture. With one notable difference, they were the only team on the pitch.

Juventus made good on their threat Saturday to field a team for the Serie A clash with Napoli even as their rivals were prevented from travelling as some of the squad had contracted COVID-19.

Unless it is overturned by the Italian football association, that means that Napoli forfeit the match and lose the game 3-0.

The club, which won the Italian league last year, made the announcement on Saturday evening.

After two Napoli players tested positive for COVID-19, Italian media reported that local health authorities prohibited the team from travelling on Saturday and ordered them to self-isolate.

Since Sunday’s match in Turin was not been officially postponed the Italian league’s protocol for COVID cases is the same as UEFA rules: If a team has 13 available players, including at least one goalkeeper, the game can go ahead.

Napoli midfielder Eljif Elmas tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, just a day after teammate Piotr Zielinski and a squad staff member tested positive.

There has been constant testing at the club after Napoli played Genoa last weekend. More than 20 Genoa players and staff members have tested positive.

Genoa’s match at Torino on Saturday was postponed.

Juventus has reported that two staff members have coronavirus but that “these are neither players nor members of the technical or medical staff.”

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