Soccer

Napoli win appeal over abandoned Juventus game after coronavirus outbreak

Napoli have won their appeal against the decision to hand them a 3-0 defeat and deduct one point for failing to play their Serie A match at Juventus in October amid confusion over Italian football’s coronavirus rules.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) confirmed on its official website that its Guarantee Board, the highest tribunal in Italian sport, had accepted Napoli’s appeal and ordered that the match be played.

Tuesday’s decision left Napoli and Juve level on 24 points from 12 games, the same total as AS Roma who, like leaders AC Milan (31) and Inter Milan (30), have played 13.

Previously, Juventus – who are chasing a 10th successive title – had been third with 27 points.

There was no immediate comment from Napoli or Juve on the decision.

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Napoli did not travel to Turin for the Juve game on October 4, saying their local health authority (ASL) had told the players to stay at home after two members of their squad tested positive for COVID-19.

Serie A turned down Napoli’s request to call the game off, resulting in bizarre scenes at the Allianz Stadium.

With the game still officially on, the stadium was opened and the floodlights switched on.

Juventus, who named their team, and the match officials were present and had to wait until 45 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time before the game was officially abandoned.

Serie A’s disciplinary tribunal, in handing Napoli a 3-0 defeat and deducting a point, rejected the club’s claim of force majeure and said there was a clear health protocol for professional football.

Napoli subsequently lost a first appeal at the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

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