SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen could be set to face his first defeat since joining the Naples-based side from Lille Metropole of France, as authorities of the Italian Serie A are considering hammering his club for failing to turn up for Sunday’s fixture away to Juventus.
Megasportsarena.com reports that it had been touted as match of the week all along but, despite repeated assurances that the team from Naples would be at the game after facing a scare of coronavirus during the preceding days, Osimhen and his colleagues did not turn up.
Unusual scenes were enacted in the stadium at the appointed time of the game, as Juventus’ team lined out for the game and the match referees were also present, but there was no sign of Osimhen et al, much to the disdain and chagrin of Serie A officials, who have now hinted that Napoli face being handed a 3-0 loss.
It means the walk-over rule could be applied by the Serie A, as officials alleged that Napoli failed to show for the game in Turin, but the table-topping side from Naples argued in return that their local health authority told players to stay at home when two squad members tested positive for coronavirus.
However, with several contradictions and counter-claims emerging from Napoli’s camp heading into the game, Serie A officials refused to call the match off and Juventus’ team promptly arrived for the fixture at their famed Allianz Stadium in Turin an hour before the scheduled kick-off time, but there was no sign of Osimhen’s side.
Potentially, under Serie A rules, Juventus would be handed a 3-0 win in the match, which was due to kick-off at 8.45pm local time (7.45pm BST) and league officials disclosed that the Naples ASL had failed to take into account the protocol agreed between the country’s health agencies, sports ministry and football authorities.
However, a Napoli spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the team had been placed into isolation by the health authority after two players, midfielders Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas, tested positive in the last four days. He said they would challenge any decision to forfeit the game.
An official from Naples ASL also confirmed in a television interview that the Napoli players had been ordered to stay at home, adding: “We’ve never expressly said they can’t play but it’s clear that is a consequence.”