Napoli win appeal to replay previously abandoned clash with Juventus

Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus, Napoli no-show
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The two sides will face off after the original match was never played due to coronavirus issues

Napoli have won their appeal to replay a match against Juventus after the original tie was deemed a forfeit due to coronavirus concerns.

A match between the two was scheduled for October 4 in Turin, but that match was quickly thrust into doubt after Napoli was barred from travelling due to coronavirus rules.

The scheduled clash between Napoli and Juve was set to kick off just days after the former had faced off with Genoa, who then developed over a dozen cases of Covid-19.

Originally, Napoli's visit to Juventus was ruled to have been abandoned, with Juventus arriving at the stadium only to be handed a 3-0 victory.

Additionally, Napoli were punished further as the club was docked one point for not travelling for the match.

Serie A  and the Italian federation (FIGC) ruled that Napoli had not stuck to the league's Covid-19 protocols, meaning that their inability to appear for the match was their own doing.

The FIGC upheld Serie A's decision upon Napoli's original appeal, determining that it was fair to penalize Napoli on the grounds that not enough squad members had tested positive to postpone the match under the terms of the league's Covid protocol.

In their ruling, Serie A said that "force majeure", the legal term for an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond any party's control, did not exist in this case.

Napoli's appeal had also been denied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who determined 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."

In the weeks since, Napoli appealed the ruling, stating that they were legally unable to travel as they were ordered by the local health authority due to two positive coronavirus cases within the team, Piotr Zielinski and Eljif Elmas.

On Tuesday, Napoli won that appeal with CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) determining that the match will be replayed and Napoli's previously deducted point will be restored.

As a result of the ruling, Napoli will move up one place in Serie A due to the restored point, as they will overtake fourth-place Roma on goal difference.

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They are now also only three points behind Juventus, who sit third in Serie A, as well as seven points behind league-leaders AC Milan.

Napoli, who will take on Granada to begin the Europa League knockout rounds in February, are set to face Torino on Wednesday in their last game of 2020.

Juventus, meanwhile, will play host to Fiorentina in their final game before the week-and-a-half-long winter break in Serie A.

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