Napoli given 3-0 Juve defeat and docked point

Juventus have been handed the 3-0 victory by default and Napoli docked one point, as the Disciplinary Commission rules the Partenopei didn’t follow the COVID-19 protocol.

Napoli did not make the trip to Turin for the Serie A Week 3 fixture on October 4 because they had two players test positive for COVID-19, Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas.

The club argued it had been banned from travelling by the local ASL (health authority), which urged the team to self-isolate as a precaution.

Juve and the Lega Serie A pointed out this had been taken into account by the existing COVID-19 protocol accepted by all the clubs before the season began and two cases did not warrant pulling out of the match.

The Disciplinary Commission has now ruled Napoli did not have enough reason to warrant missing the fixture.

The ASL could technically over-rule the Serie A protocol, but the investigation decided this did not warrant ‘force majeure’ – unforeseeable circumstances to prevent their journey.

As a result, Napoli are automatically owed a 3-0 defeat in the match that was not played, plus they are docked a point as punishment for not attending the scheduled encounter.

The Serie A protocol agreed by all the clubs and UEFA notes that as long as a team has 13 players available – including at least one goalkeeper – the game must go ahead.

Napoli are expected to lodge an appeal.

The ruling makes clear that although the initial ASL message made it ‘difficult’ to travel to Turin, it was not an outright ban until Sunday, at which point Napoli had already cancelled their flight and hotel.

The Disciplinary Commission also states that it is not in any position to make a value judgment over Napoli’s decision.

They have only two options to choose from: force majeure prevented Napoli from travelling or the club had to be given a 3-0 defeat and docked one point.


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