By Alasdair Mackenzie
ROME (Reuters) - AS Roma have written to the governing body of Serie A claiming that Napoli have been favoured by their league match against Juventus being postponed less than a week before it was due to take place, and demanding an explanation for the decision.
Napoli were scheduled to face Juventus on March 17 and the postponement gives the Naples club more time to prepare for their fixture against Roma four days later.
In a two-page document seen by Reuters, Roma argue that league rules say fixture postponement requests “must be formulated in writing at least 15 days before the date on which the league match should take place” and ask when Juventus and Napoli made their requests.
"We ask you above all to make us aware of the appropriate reasons of sporting interest that, as is known, must be the basis of your instruction," the letter reads.
“At present it is completely devoid of adequate justification except for the implicit one of favouring Napoli’s fixture list, as they would have faced Roma on the following Sunday, March 21.”
Napoli's trip to Turin was originally scheduled for Oct. 4 last year but was called off after a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad and eventually re-arranged for March 17.
However, Lega Serie A announced on Friday that the game had been pushed back again to April 7 “at the request of Juventus and Napoli”.
The decision left Roma “astonished”, with the capital club due to face Napoli three days after they travel to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.
That leaves the fifth-placed Giallorossi with two days free before an important game against a Napoli side that is currently one place and three points behind them, while the visitors have a full week to prepare.
The letter ends with Roma saying they will make a formal request to postpone their league match with Napoli, given its proximity to their trip to Ukraine.
Reuters has contacted Serie A for comment.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Toby Davis)