Football Football

Juventus Serie A game snowed off as blizzard hits Turin

Juventus’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (C) and Atalanta’s defender Rafael Toloi (L) look on as Italian referee Maurizio Mariani checks the conditions © AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

Turin, Italy, Feb 25 – Sunday’s Serie A game between champions Juventus and Atalanta in Turin was postponed because of blizzard-like conditions in northern Italy.

Snow covered the pitch at Allianz Stadium with referee Maurizio Mariani and captains Gianluigi Buffon and Rafael Toloi deciding to call off the game.

“It’s possible to play in these conditions, but it would not be a spectacle worthy of the top flight. There is also the issue of potential harm to the players,” said Juventus director Beppe Marotta.

Six-time defending champions Juventus are a point behind leaders Napoli, who play Cagliari in Sardinia on Monday.

Up to five centimetres of snow fell in 55 minutes, an hour before the scheduled 1700GMT kickoff.

The covers were removed from the pitch two hours before the game to allow for routine tests on goal-line technology and the video assistant referee (VAR).

Both sides continued their warm-ups despite the adverse conditions and the game had looked set to start but following a final survey it was decided it could proceed in sub-zero temperatures.

Juventus said another date would be announced shortly, with the team’s crowded calendar making Wednesday, March 14 a possibility.

Juventus play Atalanta in the Italian Cup semi-final, return leg next Wednesday in the Allianz Stadium, before travelling to Rome for next weekend’s Serie A game against Lazio.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side then travel to Wembley on March 7 having been held 2-2 by Spurs in the last 16 first leg clash in Turin last week.