Players from Juventus arrived at the Allianz Stadium for the Serie A clash against Napoli on Sunday, only to discover they had no adversary to face.
Local health officials in Naples ordered the entire first-team squad to remain home and isolated after two players recently tested positive for coronavirus, a club spokesman told Reuters.
Napoli is now facing an immediate 3-0 loss as a forfeit, however, with Serie A officials refusing to call the match off. The club said the the decision would be contested.
In a statement issued earlier Sunday, Serie A said that the health authorities in Naples had disregarded the protocols negotiated between the Ministry of Health and Sports of the country and the Italian Football Federation, saying that teams can still practice and play matches even though players returned positive samples, as long as the majority of the squad returns negative results when checked again.
Following this procedure, amid several players on a team testing positive, Serie A said most matches this season had gone on.
"What has been done by the Federation and Uefa is an excellent job and leaves me calm about being able to complete the competitions," Juventus President Andrea Agnelli said at a news conference. "The sporting rules are equally clear and say that if a team does not show up, they face disciplinary sanctions.
"The sporting judge will speak tomorrow, and based on his decision, there will be further reflections.
"Did I speak to (Napoli President) De Laurentis? He texted me a couple of days ago, asking me to postpone the match. My answer was that Juventus abides by the regulations."
Last weekend, Napoli faced Genoa, which subsequently had 15 first-team and staff members test positive for coronavirus. Genoa had its match at home to Torino on Saturday postponed.