The Sports Tribunal next week will give the verdict on Juventus-Napoli.
What are the possibilities and what are the articles which the Tribunal will take into consideration?
Well, the possibilities are essentially two:
1) 3-0 by default and a minimum of 1 point deduction
2) Game is rescheduled.
Neither of these is technically definitive because there could be appeals by the FA or Napoli to the Sporting Court of Appeal. The articles that will be taken into consideration for judging will most likely be Art. 53, 54 and 55 of the FIGC Organizational Rules.
Undoubtfully, the first article that will be contemplated is art 54.
Art. 54, par. 1: The teams must appear on the field at the time set for the start of the game.
This, of course, is the first violation that will be observed by the Tribunal because the away team did not show up for the game.
Since one of the teams renounced to play the game, the next article taken into consideration will almost automatically be art. 53.
Art. 53, par. 2: The club that renounces the dispute of a match suffers the loss of the match with a score of 0-3 and a 1 point deduction without prejudice to the application of further and different penalties.
So at the moment, it seems to be all clear for a 3-0 by default. So why did the Sports Tribunal postpone the decision? Well, because of Art. 55 comes into play:
Art. 55, par. 1: Teams that do not appear on the field are considered to have renounced to the dispute of the match with the consequences provided for by art. 53, unless they prove the existence of reasons of force majeure. The last sentence says it all: reasons of force majeure.
And that, together with the FA protocol, is the crux of the matter.
Art. 55 also clarifies where reasons of force majeure can be proven:
Art. 55, par. 2: The declaration of the existence of reasons of force majeure is the responsibility of the Sports Tribunal in the first instance and to the Sporting Court of Appeal in second and last instance.
Therefore it is imaginable that those reasons were requested by the Sports Tribunal when it asked for additional documentation. With the material that is known to the public we can ask ourselves: will the ASL (Local Health Authority) bulletin regarding self-isolation and "travel ban" considered force majeure? It honestly is quite a unique situation so anything can happen.
The Sports Tribunal in this case also has to take into consideration the FA protocol regarding travel bans. The protocol could be considered ambiguous: technically a game may be postponed due to a state or local authority ruling. Is the ASL considered "authority"? We have a lot of contrasting opinions regarding this. The FA obviously does not think so, because, after having reviewed the Napoli request, it has decided to not reschedule the match. Many journalists and Napoli itself seem to have the opposite opinion. Napoli ASL 2 director has said: "It was a Napoli decision to not travel. We have only forced the self-isolation". Genova ASL has also said that, when the same situation happened a week before to Genoa, they did not have the authority to force a travel ban on the team.
At the end of the day, the Sports Tribunal has a very sticky situation to handle and nobody can be certain of the outcome.
Also to be considered: the public does not have all the information available so I'm sure that the decision will be sufficiently motivated.
In my personal opinion, the most likely result will be a 3-0 by default that will be overturned after a appeal by Napoli. But we can only wait and see.
By: dalesivoir (https://twitter.com/dalesivori?s=20)