The top flight championship at the time of Covid-19 was renamed «Serie“ A ”sl». And such a brilliant idea, the game postponed by decision of the local ASL, could only give birth to the “city-theater” par excellence, Naples. On the Saturday of the village which, until last March (the beginning of the coronavirus era) was also the eve of the football party day, it was decided that Rino Gattuso’s Napoli should not leave for the away match in Turin, and therefore, give up the postponement Sunday evening against Juventus. Reason: two blue players, Elmas and Zielinski, tested positive for anti-Covid swabs.
At that point, with the diligence of a Burioni, the cinepatron Aurelio De Laurentiis, taking into account the circular of June 18, in which the local Asl, while respecting the “Football Protocol”, can opt for the request for a soft quarantine (on the basis of the “forecast” that a possible outbreak will be generated), he ruled: my Naples stays at home. The first team remained under Vesuvius, while on Saturday the Napoli Primavera played in Lecce, losing 4-1. Balloon mysteries under Covid. Decision contested that of De Laurentiis, primarily by Juventus of president Andrea Agnelli (“Napoli asked me to postpone the game, but there are rules that must be respected”) and also by a large part of public opinion. Because I agree that caution is never at the highest levels, but the impression is that De Laurentiis – as often happens to him – wanted to raise the bar and play the role of the contrary bastian at all costs, complete with a recipe issued. by the general practitioner. Gattuso had all the squad available on Saturday, except for the two positives, and the “Soccer Protocol” speaks of the suitability to take the field if there are at least 13 healthy players on the team, therefore skilled and eligible.
According to the Lega Calcio, the protocol provides certain and non-derogable rules, which allow the dispute of league matches even in the event of a positive outcome, by deploying the players who tested negative in the tests carried out. Cases of multiple positivity can lead to the postponement of tenders only under certain conditions. The cancellation of the match in Turin on Sunday evening actually opened a debate on the need to change the protocol.
Because after the positivity of two players, the ASL Napoli 2 Nord has ordered home isolation for all the players who have come into contact with the positives. The club then asked for further clarifications and the local ASL reiterated the ban on traveling for the match with Juventus.
What is the position of Juventus?
According to Juventus, who regularly showed up for the match, there is a protocol that must be respected and which says that in the presence of an infected player, the team involved must close itself in a bubble.
The protocol provides for periodic tampons throughout the week. In particular, a tampon must be made 48 hours before the match and whoever is negative can play. In the event of a positive outcome, the player isolates himself and passes under the aegis of the ASL: thus 14 days of quarantine are triggered and a double buffer is required before returning to the “team group”. For the rest of the team, at the same time, swabs are carried out every 24 hours for 14 days, with the negative players leaving the retreat only to go to play.
They claim that a team can take the field if it has at least 13 players available. There is also an exception, valid only once in the league, whereby if there are 10 or more infected players in a team, the same team will have the right to request a postponement of the match. The same rule will apply only once in the Italian Cup but exclusively in the semi-final or final matches.
And then, during the week the Neapolitan club did not register the obstacles “10 cases” of positivity among its members. There is also the precedent that “disqualifies” the drastic decision of ASL and Napoli even more, the fact that Gattuso’s men in the previous round had taken the field anyway against Genoa (winning 6-0), with the opponents who had left two coronavirus positive footballers at home. Given that, in a general context, so desolately empty and healthily precarious, it would be tempting to suspend the leagues (all) indefinitely, the world of football, to complete the season, must continue to comply with the regulations of the Football Federation and of the Serie A League which, in terms of “football and Covid”, were very explicit, and in tune with the rest of Europe, asking that «the show must go on».
Legitimate, on a sporting level, is therefore the will of Juventus which, on Sunday evening at 8.45 pm, found itself in a stadium, even more deserted and surreal than usual, having to play alone and therefore “by regulation it asks for a 3-0 to small table. Meanwhile, the public prosecutor of the FIGC has opened an investigation into the application of health protocols by Naples, but it has taken a few more days to unravel a very tangled skein. De Laurentiis directly from the “rione Sanità” writes a letter in his own hand to the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, and to the Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, reminding the country everything, Juventus and not, that “failure to postpone for the dispute of the match would represent the defeat of all ». In the letter, the cinepatron attaches the dossier with the ASL pronouncements, also making use of the very fresh “precedent”: the return to Serie C of the Palermo-Potenza match, due to the positivity of two players from the Lucanian club.
Yesterday Minister Spadafora took stock with the leaders of the Lega di A and the Football Association, inviting them to “keep the protocol valid, but with the utmost rigor”. The n.1 of the FIGC Gabriele Gravina reassures: “We are convinced that the championship must go on, knowing that we must be very responsible and far-sighted”. Minister Speranza, on the other hand, on Sunday in the midst of the chaos of the “Serie” A “sl, had called for” a little less football and a little more school “and yesterday his Undersecretary for Health, Sandra Zampa, who spoke live on InBlu Radio reiterated: «Juventus-Napoli? A law was simply applied. The ASL was entitled because the protocol establishes it. I find myself in the words of Minister Speranza: let’s talk less about stadiums and more safety in schools and in the workplace ». In the Republic founded on the ball, the classic parliamentary question could not be missing. The 5 Star Deputy Luigi Iovino asked the Ministry of Health: «Health comes first. Juventus should not speculate on health – the not neutral (we suspect) Mr Iovino attacks -, the match had to be postponed because there were no health safety conditions to play the match ». We are in the first round of a match that continues, and as in the pre-Covid era, it is played in venues far away from the football fields.