ROME: Lazio named a team and turned up at the Stadio Olimpico for a Serie A match with Torino on Tuesday despite the visitors being stuck in Turin after a COVID-19 outbreak in a bizarre repeat of Juventus’ abandoned clash with Napoli earlier this season.
The Torino squad was instructed to quarantine by the local health authority (ASL) ahead of the game, scheduled to kick off at 6.30pm (1730GMT) in the Italian capital, after registering eight cases of the British variant of the coronavirus.
Their match against Sassuolo last Friday was suspended due to the outbreak, but Italian news agency ANSA reported that the Lega Serie A council unanimously decided in an urgent meeting on Tuesday that the game in Rome should go ahead as planned.
Torino have not travelled south for the game and could be handed a 3-0 defeat and deducted a point for failing to turn up for the scheduled kickoff.
That is the punishment handed to Napoli in October after they did not travel to Turin for a Serie A match against champions Juventus, saying the ASL had told them to stay at home following positive COVID-19 cases.
It resulted in chaotic scenes at the Allianz Stadium as the Juve squad and match officials turned up and had to wait until 45 minutes after the scheduled kickoff time before the game could be officially abandoned.
Napoli later successfully appealed against the punishment to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Guarantee Board, Italian sport's highest tribunal, and Serie A President Paolo Dal Pino conceded that the Torino case could be heading the same way.
"For us the game must go ahead, but if there is a hard and restrictive attitude from the ASL, we must also make evaluations based on the decision of the CONI Guarantee Board, who unfortunately set a legal precedent with the Juve-Napoli case," Dal Pino told Gr Parlamento radio.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ken Ferris)