Soccer-Cagliari match with Juve switched to Parma

Reuters Middle East

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Friday's Serie A match between Cagliari and leaders Juventus will be held in Parma after the league stepped in following another chaotic day in Italian football which left fans fuming.

The league said in a statement on Thursday that the Stadio Tardini in Parma, 631 kilometres over sea and land from Cagliari, would host the game after safety officials in Sardinia said the city's Is Arenas was not fit to hold the match.

It is not uncommon for Italian authorities to switch the venue or kickoff time of a match two days before a game and Cagliari being based on the island of Sardinia has made no difference.

Cagliari have had a long running battle with local authorities over their new stadium.

They had to play home matches at Trieste, over 1,000 kms away, when the Is Arena was previously deemed unsafe.

It was then approved to host matches behind closed doors and Cagliari were punished with a 3-0 walkover defeat by AS Roma in September after the club president ordered fans to turn up anyway.

A safety certificate to allow fans in was finally obtained but the might of Juventus and the expected hordes of visiting spectators spooked authorities who said the stadium could not cope on Friday.

Then just after the league switched the game to Parma, with 15,000 home fans already having bought tickets for the Is Arenas, the mayor of the suburb of Cagliari where the stadium is situated announced the game could be played there after all.

His announcement, however, came too late to have the fixture reinstated at the Is Arenas. (Writing by Mark Meadows)

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