Napoli have indicated they intend to take legal action after their challenge against the 3-0 forfeit defeat to Juventus was rejected by the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) court of appeal.

Gennaro Gattuso's men did not turn up for the game in Turin last month and were also docked a point by Lega Serie A for failing to fulfil their fixture obligations.

Napoli argued they were banned from travelling by local health authorities as Piotr Zielinski, Eljif Elmas and a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

Juventus themselves reported two positive cases among staff a day before the game but made clear they intended to play the match at the Allianz Stadium.

Andrea Pirlo named a starting XI but the game did not go ahead as scheduled because of Napoli's absence and was officially cancelled.

However, the FIGC ruled Napoli ignored the coronavirus protocols in place, which states a team must fulfil any fixture if they have 13 available players, including at least one goalkeeper.

The court ruled "Napoli's behaviour was effectively creating an alibi for themselves not to play", and they "deserve the sanction because it was not at all impossible for them to take part in the match."

The verdict also concluded that "Napoli's conduct in the days leading up to the match was already aimed towards not playing, with clear violation of the fundamental principles that sporting justice is based on, namely fairness, decency and probity."

In response to the appeal rejection, Napoli released a statement on their official website on Tuesday to confirm they will take the matter to the Collegio di Garanzia dello Sport - the highest Italian sports authority.

The statement added: "The club totally disagrees with the sentence, which casts unacceptable aspersions on the conduct of the club, ignoring very clear documentation in its favour and delegitimising the authority of the regional health associations.

"Napoli has always sought to defend the values of fairness and sporting merit, so in this case too we will follow every legal avenue to ensure justice for its conduct, which respected public health and asked that the pitch be the only judge to decide the result of a football match."

The FIGC also upheld the league's decision to punish Roma with a 3-0 loss for fielding an ineligible player against Hellas Verona in their opening game of 2020-21.

Roma were found to have registered Amadou Diawara as an Under-23 player in their squad list when the midfielder had already turned 23.

The game at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi finished goalless but Roma returned to zero points for the season following their sanction.

The Giallorossi also had their appeal rejected on Tuesday and CEO Guido Fienga told ANSA: "With all due respect, I cannot help but express my unhappiness at a sentence that I consider to be profoundly unjust.

"We have all missed an opportunity to intervene and modify an evident loophole in the rules, but above all there was no desire to avoid a punishment that is clearly disproportionate to the situation.

"We did everything we could by proposing a course of action in the appeal that would allow for equity on this rule, which currently does not recognise whether an error was in good faith or not."

Thorgan Hazard is unimpressed by the intense schedule players are facing in the 2020-21season ahead of Belgium's upcoming international triple-header.

The 27-year-old winger is in the Red Devils' squad for the friendly with Switzerland and Nations League matches against England and Denmark, all of which are in the next nine days.

Hazard has only played 135 minutes of Bundesliga football this season due to a ruptured thigh muscle ruling him out for around a month.

But the busy schedule of elite players – particularly those whose clubs have qualified for continental football – is not lost on him.

UEFA has received significant flak for its part in the increasingly busy calendar, as it opted to turn the October and November international breaks into three-match periods instead of sticking with the usual two games, a move it says was made to recover the dates postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's all too much, not just for me," Hazard told reporters on Monday. "Champions League, Bundesliga, Nations League…I don't want to complain too much because we have to do our job, but it is a lot.

"Well, here at the Red Devils, everyone will get playing time. The national coach has selected many players. Playing them in all three matches for 90 minutes would be difficult.

"The players will not burn themselves out. Our coaches also ask us to be careful, not to risk too much.

"We also play with Dortmund every three days. It is a difficult issue – the national coaches also have to do their job. If we don't feel well, let's just say so."

Belgium have already lost three players to injury on Monday, with Leandro Trossard, Alexis Saelemaekers and Hendrik van Crombrugge pulling out – only the latter has been replaced, with Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski called up.

Hazard's brother Eden was already ruled out having recently tested positive for coronavirus, meaning the Real Madrid winger will have gone more than a year without playing for Belgium by the time of his next cap.

"One year is indeed a long time," Thorgan Hazard said of his older brother's absence. "I hope this will be over soon. Both Belgium and Madrid miss Eden.

"He is one of the best players in the world and it is always better to have him in your squad. Madrid lost last weekend without him and the Red Devils were also defeated in England. We all need an Eden at 100 per cent.

"Nevertheless, he feels good. He is in good health and shows no symptoms [of COVID-19]. He is quarantined at home in Madrid and unfortunately he is not here.

"It was really a surprise for him, an unpleasant one. The injury was gone and then coronavirus was showing up. I really hope that next time there is not something again.

"He's really unlucky. These are another two weeks gone. What can he do about it? Nothing."

Granada were only able to field seven senior players in their starting XI for a 2-0 defeat to LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad on Sunday because of a coronavirus outbreak.

A request by Granada to postpone the game against Sociedad at Anoeta had earlier been rejected by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and they instead played the match with a severely-weakened side.

Granada had originally claimed they could not select "the minimum number of players available" but RFEF's competition committee turned it down as regulations stated matches could only be postponed if a club has five or fewer first-team players to choose from.

Granada's 18-year-old goalkeeper Angel Jimenez saved a penalty on his debut, but goals from Nacho Monreal and Mikel Oyarzabal chalked up a fifth consecutive victory for Sociedad.

Diego Martinez's side had been told they could only name players in their squad who tested negative for COVID-19 and who did not travel to Cyprus for Thursday's Europa League match against Omonia Nicosia.

Granada are set to face disciplinary action for a breach of COVD-19 protocols after they travelled to Cyprus despite an outbreak of the virus.

It was confirmed on Saturday that Martinez and striker Antonio Puertas were self-isolating after showing symptoms of the virus.

Three Lazio players, including Ciro Immobile, will miss Sunday's Serie A match with Juventus amid concerns around coronavirus tests.

Immobile, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha all reportedly returned inconclusive COVID-19 tests on Saturday and left the Lazio training ground as a precaution.

None of the players have been included in the matchday squad for the meeting with the champions in Rome.

Lazio's chief medic, Ivo Pulcini, told Radio Sei there had been some "positive results" in the latest round of testing.

Immobile, last season's top goalscorer in Serie A with 36 goals, has already scored three times in five appearances in 2020-21.

A win for Juve will move them to within a point of league leaders Milan, while Lazio will move into the top three if they take all three points.

Granada have been told Sunday's LaLiga match with Real Sociedad must go ahead despite them having only seven senior players available due to coronavirus restrictions.

Diego Martinez's side were informed they could only name players in their squad who tested negative for COVID-19 and who did not travel to Cyprus for Thursday's Europa League match against Omonia Nicosia.

It was confirmed on Saturday that Martinez and striker Antonio Puertas were self-isolating after showing symptoms of the virus.

Granada asked the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to postpone the game against Sociedad at Anoeta as they said they could not select "the minimum number of players available".

However, in a statement on Sunday, Granada said the RFEF's competition committee had rejected their request.

They added: "The team will travel to San Sebastian in the next few hours with only seven players in the squad who meet the requirements imposed by LaLiga, [the squad] completed with players from the B team and youth team who also meet these requirements."

Granada are sixth in LaLiga after winning four and losing just one of their opening seven games in 2020-21.

Sociedad are level on 17 points with league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Granada have asked the Spanish Football Federation to postpone Sunday's LaLiga clash with Real Sociedad due to a high number of positive coronavirus cases in the camp.

Only players who have tested negative for COVID-19 and did not travel to Cyprus for Thursday's Europa League clash with Omonoia Nicosia can play against Sociedad.

With Granada unable to name a 13-man squad for the game at Anoeta Stadium, the club have requested the game be pushed back to a later date.

A statement on their official website read: "The League has informed Granada that it only allows those players with a positive IGG index or a negative PCR and who have not travelled to Cyprus to travel to San Sebastian. 

"Given these circumstances, the Club requests the postponement of the match as it does not meet the minimum number of players available from the first team that are required for the dispute of an official match."

Granada confirmed earlier on Saturday that head coach Diego Martinez and striker Antonio Puertas were self-isolating after presenting symptoms compatible with coronavirus.

Martinez's side are sixth in LaLiga after winning four, drawing two and losing only one of their first seven matches.

Antonio Conte conceded the coronavirus pandemic is taking a continued toll on Inter's form as his squad once again suffered from disrupted preparations ahead of Sunday's Serie A trip to Atalanta. 

Daniele Padelli has tested positive for COVID-19 and, although he is not displaying symptoms, will not travel to Bergamo. 

Fellow back-up goalkeeper Ionut Radu and midfielder Roberto Gagliardini must repeat tests after giving inclusive results. 

Gagliardini and Radu returned to Conte's squad for last weekend's 2-2 draw against Parma after their respective positive tests in October brought about four-match absences. 

Speaking at a pre-match news conference, Conte confirmed star striker Romelu Lukaku was back in contention following an adductor problem, but the shadow of the virus still looms over a playing group where defenders Achraf Hakimi and Milan Skriniar have also been affected. 

"It is pointless saying it does not have an impact. We are all affected by this. The players and the families," Conte said ahead of a trip to one of the areas of Italy worst hit by the ongoing health crisis. 

"We train and prepare and don’t always have a full squad. 

"It is a hard situation for us all. We need to take it on and do our best. People sometimes forget the human side. It is not an easy situation for us."

In an occasionally terse briefing, Conte bridled at suggestions he might be concerned for his job after the dramatic 3-2 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in midweek meant Inter have won just one of their past seven matches across all competitions. 

Inter's two defeats during the recent slump have come by a single goal and the 0-0 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk was the only time they have failed to score, leaving their coach to mull upon his players finding themselves on the wrong side of some fine margins. 

"You are talking about the minor details. We need to work hard. We need to keep at it," Conte said. 

"We need to make sure we wipe out the gap [to the best teams]. I have told this to the players. 

"There is still a gap to cut. We are almost there but not there yet." 

Midfielder Stefano Sensi is still out due to a thigh injury, with Conte stating the Italy international's recovery is "not going well".

Eden Hazard remains in good spirits despite being sidelined again at Real Madrid after testing positive for coronavirus.

Madrid announced on Saturday that Hazard and Casemiro had returned a positive result for COVID-19, ruling them out of the meeting with Valencia at Mestalla on Sunday.

The Belgium international has featured just 25 times in all competitions for Los Blancos since arriving from Chelsea for €100million in June last year, scoring two goals and supplying four assists. In his final campaign at Stamford Bridge, he registered 16 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League alone.

A persistent ankle problem blighted Hazard's first season with Madrid but Zidane assured he is not letting another setback get him down.

"Well, they're okay I think," Zidane said when asked how Casemiro and Hazard were doing after their positive tests.

"They're not happy with what's happened but they're okay and physically they don't have many symptoms, but we know it's tough.

"I left them a message and I'll speak to them later. This can happen and we have to accept that."

Asked specifically if he was worried about Hazard's state of mind, Zidane replied: "You know what he's like as a player. He's a strong player.

"It's a tough moment with injuries and everything but he's in good spirits, which is important. He has to wait a week now."

Due to the positive coronavirus cases Zidane was forced to quickly change his training plans on the eve of the trip to Valencia

"We have to adapt to the situation. We know it could be worse.. It happened to [Eder] Militao the other day, to Eden and Casemiro today," said Zidane.

"We have to accept it and keep going forward, because the strength is in the team unit. There are worse things that are happening, people are worse of elsewhere, but it's disconcerting that the training session today has been completely different the day before a game.

"It's disconcerting because you don't know what's going to happen, in what moment you're going to have positives or not and that's what's happened with these two players.

"They are responsible people but unfortunately it's happened. It could be worse. There are people in much worse situations who are really, really suffering outside of football.

"But in the world of football I'm a manager and I prefer to have them available for tomorrow obviously."

Zidane confirmed that Martin Odegaard will be in the squad to face Valencia, having spent three weeks out with a calf problem.

Madrid will be aiming to make it 10 LaLiga away games without defeat for the first time in three years against a Valencia side who, with eight points from as many games, are experiencing their worst start to a season since having seven points at the same stage in the 1999-2000 campaign.

Eden Hazard and Casemiro have tested positive for COVID-19, Real Madrid have confirmed. 

The club announced the news on Saturday, having carried out the latest round of tests on Friday. 

Hazard and Casemiro were the only two found to have contracted coronavirus, with the rest of the squad and staff given the all-clear. 

"Real Madrid CF announces that our players Casemiro and Hazard have given positive results in the COVID-19 tests carried out Friday morning," read a club statement. 

"All the other players and the coaching staff of the first team, as well as all the club employees who work directly with them, gave negative results in that same test carried out yesterday.  

"Likewise, it is confirmed again that all, with the exception of Casemiro and Hazard, have given negative results in the antigen tests carried out this morning." 

Zinedine Zidane's side face Valencia on Sunday after enjoying a 3-2 Champions League win over Inter in midweek, with both Hazard and Casemiro in the starting XI for that European fixture. 

Former Chelsea star Hazard ended a year-long goal drought against Huesca in Madrid's previous LaLiga outing, a 4-1 home win.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Justin Turner will not face punishment for leaving isolation to celebrate his team's World Series victory last month, despite testing positive for coronavirus.

The Dodgers were on the verge of winning the MLB World Series in Game 6 when third baseman Turner was removed from the game in the eighth inning due to the team receiving word that he had returned a positive COVID-19 test in October.

Turner was placed in a room with his wife Kourtney, where the couple watched Los Angeles clinch a 3-1 win and 4-2 series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays – the Dodgers' first World Series title since 1988.

During the celebration, Turner was seen on the field in close contact with team-mates, sometimes with his mask removed.

The MLB announced the end of its investigation into Turner's conduct on Friday, with commissioner Rob Manfred saying no further action would be taken.

"We all have made mistakes as we navigated these unprecedented challenges and have tried to learn from those mistakes so they are not repeated," Manfred said in a statement.

"With this in mind, I am closing this matter by applauding Justin for accepting responsibility, apologising and making a commitment to set a positive example going forward."

Despite Turner's behaviour – which he has since admitted was wrong and regrettable – MLB did take some responsibility and acknowledge other mitigating factors.

"Our investigation revealed additional relevant information that, while not exonerating Mr. Turner from responsibility for his conduct, helps put into context why he chose to leave the isolation room and return to the field," Manfred said.

Two Dodgers employees were stationed outside Turner's isolation room. When the 2017 All-Star left to return to the field to celebrate, he mistook the employees' inaction for permission.

Manfred conceded in his statement that a league employee should have been given explicit instructions to keep Turner in isolation or take him directly to the team hotel.

Many of Turner's team-mates thought they had already been exposed enough to him in the previous hours and days that isolation was pointless. Turner was also told by an unidentified person that some of his team-mates had also received positive COVID-19 tests, leading him to believe he was being singled out.

Due to this confusion – and Turner's contrition after the fact – Manfred decided not to punish the 12-year veteran.

"Mr. Turner has publicly recognised that his conduct was wrong and has expressed remorse for that conduct," Manfred said. "I have spoken to him personally and I know that he is extraordinarily upset by the incident.

"By all accounts, Justin is a leader in the clubhouse, a contributor to his community and a responsible person who was instrumental in the Dodgers diligently following the health protocols all season long."

Turner, a member of both Dodgers' teams that lost in the World Series in 2017 and 2018, was a candidate for World Series MVP, ultimately won by Corey Seager.

The 2017 National League Championship Series (NLCS) hit .320 with two home runs and four doubles in the World Series and is the franchise's career postseason leader in hits, runs, doubles, home runs and RBI.

"In hindsight, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take that photo with my wife," Turner said. "I sincerely apologise to everyone on the field for failing to appreciate the risks of returning to the field.

"I have spoken with almost every team-mate, coach, and staff member, and my intentions were never to make anyone uncomfortable or put anyone at further risk."

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has tested positive for coronavirus, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has revealed.

Mancini underwent routine testing ahead of the Azzurri squad meeting up on Sunday for their upcoming triple-header of fixtures.

The FIGC said the 55-year-old is asymptomatic and is self-isolating at home.

A statement added: "Mancini will be able to join the squad at Coverciano once he has completed the necessary procedures, as outlined by the UEFA Return to Play and FIGC protocols."

Italy host Estonia in a friendly on Wednesday before taking on Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina in their final set of Nations League fixtures.

Mancini's men are unbeaten in 19 matches since a 1-0 loss to Portugal in September 2018 and are second in Group A1, one point below Poland and one above the Netherlands.

Rodrigo Moreno has been ruled out of Leeds United's clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday and Spain's three forthcoming internationals after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 29-year-old forward has made three Premier League starts for Leeds in 2020-21, scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Elland Road in October.

After missing Leeds' 4-1 defeat at home to Leicester City on Monday because he was isolating following contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, he confirmed his own diagnosis in a post on Instagram.

"Unfortunately I have tested positive for COVID-19 after being in contact with a family member that had been infected without us knowing," said Rodrigo.

"As per the protocol I will be self isolating and will miss the game with Crystal Palace.

"Both my family and I feel great, we are lucky enough to feel healthy and we are keeping a positive attitude.

"From home I will support Leeds and the Spainish National team as a supporter and I will be back on the pitch soon. Thank you for all those who have shown concern."

Rodrigo started for Spain in their most recent fixture, a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in the Nations League, but will not now be able to link up with Luis Enrique's squad for a friendly against Netherlands and Nations League matches at Switzerland and at home to Germany.

Castleford Tigers' Super League matches against Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils have been cancelled after another four players tested positive for coronavirus.

The Tigers' clash with Huddersfield Giants last Friday was called off after testing revealed 13 players had contracted COVID-19.

Castleford will also be unable to fulfil their fixtures with the Rhinos on Friday and Salford next Monday due to another four members of their squad testing positive.

The Rugby Football League's Multiple Cases Group has extended the shutdown of the Yorkshire club following the latest positive results.

A decision over whether Castleford's scheduled round 22 encounter with Wakefield Trinity will go ahead has not yet been made, with two more rounds of testing set to be carried out this week.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc with the Super League schedule, but Catalans Dragons are back in action at Salford on Monday.

Tour de France organisers have confirmed the route for the 2021 edition of the iconic race, which is set to take place from June 26 to July 18 next year.

Riders face a challenging climb up Mont Ventoux not once, but twice, during stage 11 – a 199kilometre route which will finish in the town of Malaucene.

The gruelling double-assent in the Alps will take place approximately half-way through the event, which will begin in the north-west city of Brest and end in Paris.

Next year's edition – the 108th Tour de France – features two time trials, set for the fifth and the penultimate stages.

Organisers have also incorporated Andorra into the race, with stage 15 featuring the highest peak – a 2,408metre-high summit of Port d'Envalira in the Pyrenees.

In the 2020 race that was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tadej Pogacar snatched victory from Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma in a penultimate-stage time trial.

Chris Froome did not compete in this year's Tour de France, which is one of few major sporting events in 2020 to have gone ahead in front of crowds.

INEOS Grenadiers elected against renewing Froome's contract, and the 35-year-old – who has signed a multi-year deal with Israel Start-Up Nation – is aiming to become the fifth man to win Le Tour on five occasions. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named on the Juventus bench against Spezia after testing negative for coronavirus.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo contracted COVID-19 in October while away on international duty.

He missed action for both Juve and Portugal before his club finally announced the forward was clear of the virus on Friday.

Coach Andrea Pirlo had suggested a start in Sunday's Serie A game was unlikely, though, and the 35-year-old was instead among the substitutes.

Juve have certainly missed Ronaldo, who has three goals in two games this season.

Pirlo's side did not win either of the Serie A matches their number seven missed, drawing 1-1 with both Crotone and Hellas Verona.

That continues a trend from Ronaldo's time in Turin, with results unsurprisingly dropping off when the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is absent.

While Juve have won 72.7 per cent of the 66 league games Ronaldo has played in, they have tasted victory in just seven - 50 per cent - of the 14 he has missed since his signing.

They pick up 2.3 points per game with Ronaldo and just 1.7 without, while they score more when the forward is in the side, too, netting 2.0 per game versus 1.5 in his absence.

The Bianconeri actually also concede fewer goals when opponents have to keep an eye on Ronaldo, that figure rising from 0.9 goals against per game to 1.1 when he is on the sidelines.

During his lay-off, Juve had a further two games in the Champions League, beating Dynamo Kiev 2-0 but then losing to Lionel Messi's Barcelona by the same scoreline.

The Italian giants did not manage a single shot on target against Barca, although Alvaro Morata had three goals disallowed for offside.

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