Coronavirus: Farcical scenes again as Torino miss Lazio match after quarantine order

Players of Lazio stand on the pitch prior to the Italian Serie A match between SS Lazio and Torino FC at Olimpico stadium, Rome, Italy, on March 2, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ROME (AFP) - Quarantined in Turin, Italian top-flight team Torino failed to travel to Rome for their Serie A game with Lazio on Tuesday (March 2), with the hosts awarded victory after a 45-minute wait.

Regional authorities in Turin placed Torino under quarantine after eight of their players tested positive for the British variant of Covid-19, but the Italian league refused to postpone the match.

After a 45-minute wait following the scheduled 6.30pm (1.30am Singapore time) kick-off, Lazio players were informed by the referee that Torino were considered to have forfeited and that the match had been abandoned.

"The decision by the league to not postpone the Lazio-Torino game... speaks for itself," said Torino president Urbano Cairo, who accused the league of "ignoring reality".

"We're going to see what happens now. It's obvious we will appeal. We will take all possible recourse," he added.

The situation mirrors a previous episode when Napoli were hit with a wave of Covid in October and failed to travel for a league match at Juventus.

The league refused to cancel the fixture and awarded Juventus a 3-0 win, although the Italian Olympic Committee has since overturned this.

On Wednesday, the Italian football league announced the match has been rescheduled for March 17.

Conversely, a meeting between Juventus and Sassuolo was called off just a week ago for the very same reason.

Head of the Italian football federation Gabriele Gravina had earlier called on the league authorities to clarify their position.

"This is an act of God, there's no way they (Torino) can play, and the league needs to get their ideas straight," Gravina suggested.

"Imagine if a team decides to go ahead and break their quarantine order, it would be breaking the law," he said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.