Napoli could be without FOUR players for trip to Leicester in Europa League clash next week, says Italian health official – with squad members set to be unavailable after being in countries on UK’s red list during international break

  • David Ospina, Kalidou Koulibaly, Amir Rrahmani and Victor Osimhen could all miss out for Napoli against Leicester
  • The four players have spent time in countries on the UK’s travel red list
  • A mandatory 10-day arrival in England would rule them out of the match 
  • Director of the Naples health authority questioned if the game should go ahead

Leicester’s Europa League clash with Napoli could be complicated by Covid chaos in the Serie A side’s squad, according to a leading Italian health official.

At least four Napoli players – goalkeeper David Ospina, defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Amir Rrahmani, and forward Victor Osimhen – are likely to be unavailable for the match at King Power Stadium on September 16 as they have spent time in countries on the UK’s red list during the international break.

That would mean a mandatory 10-day quarantine stint on arrival in England, effectively ruling them out of the clash.

David Ospina may also miss out having travelled to a country on the UK's red-list

Kalidou Koulibaly (L) and David Ospina (R) could miss Napoli’s clash against Leicester City 

Defender Amir Rrahmani could also miss next week's game

Forward Victor Osimhen is the fourth potential absentee for Napoli

Defender Amir Rrahmani (L) and forward Victor Osimhen (R) could also miss next week’s game

‘There are a number of Napoli players coming back from red-list countries, and under English law they won’t be able to play, so will the game be stopped?’ said Antonio D’Amore, director of the Naples health authority. 

‘That is a question for the UK authorities to answer.’ 

D’Amore and his colleagues caused controversy during the last Serie A season when they banned Napoli from flying to Turin for a league game against Juventus, after two members of the squad tested positive for coronavirus.

Juventus were initially awarded a 3-0 victory, though the game was eventually played in April, with Juve winning 2-1.

Brendan Rodgers's side face the Serie A club in their first Europa League clash next Thursday

Brendan Rodgers’s side face the Serie A club in their first Europa League clash next Thursday

Last Sunday the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was halted after seven minutes by health officials, who claimed four UK-based Argentina players had not observed quarantine regulations.

‘What happened in Sao Paulo showed we were right to do what we did before Juventus-Napoli last season – we never regretted it,’ insisted D’Amore. 

‘We’ve recently finished a season played mainly behind closed doors and people need to pay more attention [to Covid regulations].’