Napoli No Show
It has been an odd and difficult year around the world following the impact of the coronavirus. The international pandemic has had its own prevalent effect in the world of football. After most leagues were forced to end their season early in the spring, it was impossible to predict how the virus’ effect would follow through the next season. Although rules have been implemented accordingly, the issues that come about are never identical and have to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
After playing Genoa last week, 2 Napoli players tested positive for the coronavirus. Along with midfielders Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas, twenty Genoa players and staff test positive for the COVID-19 virus. A team doctor ordered the team into quarantine prior to their match at Juventus last Sunday. Napoli would not travel to Turin for the match. The Juventus players showed up for the match, some even taking the field. The Italian Federation will meet next week to provide a resolution for the match. Napoli will either be given a 3-0 forfeit, or the match will be played at a later date.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TO COME BEFORE VESTED INTERESTS
Although the rules clearly state that a team who does not show up for a match will be given a 3-0 loss, we are not living under normal circumstances. The rules for Serie A coincide with those of UEFA, stating that if a team has the ability to field 13 players, which includes one goalkeeper, then they are required to show up and play the match. The issue is much more complex than this however. The Italian Minister of sport stated that “despite the rigid rules, I will appeal for the health and safety of players to come before other vested interests…” With over 37 million cases worldwide that have led to more than 1 million deaths it is important to consider the risks involved when looking at a contact sport like football. There are some things that are more important than football and the Napoleon medical team felt that the points lost would be a small set back to take when adverse effects of the match are taken into consideration. Gattuso expressed his wishes to Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo on postponing the match but at that point it was already out of his hands. It is likely that his side will be handed a defeat for their failure to appear.