Napoli released a statement assuring they will ‘follow every legal avenue’ after their appeal against the 3-0 forfeit defeat to Juventus was rejected, using ‘unacceptable’ criticism of their conduct.
“SSC Napoli is already at work preparing an appeal to the Collegio di Garanzia dello Sport of the CONI,” read a statement.
“The club totally disagrees with the sentence, which casts unacceptable aspersions on the conduct of the club, ignoring very clear documentation in its favour and delegitimising the authority of the regional health associations.
“SSC Napoli has always sought to defend the values of fairness and sporting merit, so in this case too we will follow every legal avenue to ensure justice for its conduct, which respected public health and asked that the pitch be the only judge to decide the result of a football match.”
The Partenopei did not attend the October 4 Serie A fixture with Juventus in Turin after claiming they had received a travel ban order from the local health authority (ASL).
This was due to two players – Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas – testing positive for COVID-19.
However, the Lega Serie A and today the FIGC court of appeal ruled Napoli had ignored the existing Serie A protocols for COVID cases and contacted the ASL essentially trying to steer them towards blocking their travel.
As a result, a 3-0 victory was handed to Juventus and Napoli were docked one point.
By the time the order came, Napoli had already cancelled their flight and the hotel booking in Turin, even though the game was to be played the next day.
The wording of the rejection notes that Napoli ‘deserve the sanction because it was not at all impossible for them to take part in the match, having instead pushed the situation in that direction in a voluntary and pre-ordained manner.
“Their conduct in the days leading up to the match were already aimed towards not playing, with clear violation of the fundamental principles that sporting justice is based on, namely fairness, decency and probity.”
They were also accused of being ‘disrespectful’ towards all the Serie A clubs that had agreed to and stuck by the protocol.