Napoli and Fiorentina could boycott the Supercoppa Italiana: Who would take their places?

Napoli and Fiorentina could withdraw from the Supercoppa Italiana, potentially leaving at least one vacancy for AC Milan to fill. Fiorentina refute the rumours but the situation is not stable.

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The upcoming Supercoppa Italiana will follow a new format, expanding from two to four teams, but Napoli and Fiorentina could boycott the competition which will be held in Saudi Arabia.

Originally, this edition was to consist of Napoli and Lazio, who finished first and second at the end of the 2022/23 Serie A season, and Inter and Fiorentina, who played each other in the 2022/2023 Coppa Italia final.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 2023 Supercoppa will be played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and it will be rescheduled from January 4-8, 2024, to January 21-25. However, it has been reported that Fiorentina and Napoli do not want to participate for a variety of reasons, mainly the scheduling of games. If one or both of those clubs decide to withdraw, AC Milan and Atalanta are likely to replace them.

Fiorentina and Napoli issue statements about Supercoppa Italiana

Fiorentina’s Arthur melo and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen. [@acffiorentina]

After those initial reports suggesting that Fiorentina were considering their withdrawal from the Supercoppa, the Gigliati have gone on to deny any speculation about boycotting the competition.

“We have never communicated that we do not want to participate in the next edition of the Supercoppa Italiana,” read the statement.

“We deserved to play in the Supercoppa, and therefore, we will participate. We as a club are not happy with the rumours that we have decided to turn our backs on the competition.”

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis took a different stance, seeing no point in the competition taking place at all due to the latest conflicts going in Israel-Palestine.

“Those who want to go to Saudi Arabia to play the Supercoppa are morons,” De Laurentiis said. “Have you seen what is happening in Israel? There could be a no-fly zone in place over the Middle East.”

Despite the varying statements, both Napoli and Fiorentina still have to worry about Serie A and European matches, adding further and unnecessary congestion to their respective fixture lists.

AC Milan and Atalanta could replace Napoli and Fiorentina in the Supercoppa Italiana

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli. [Photo: acmilan.com]

In case Napoli withdraw from the Supercoppa Italiana, AC Milan are likely to replace the Partenopei, and Atalanta could step in for Fiorentina in the unlikely event that the Viola proceed with the rumoured boycott.

Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli may not want his team to worry about additional fixtures and travelling. However, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport (via SempreMilan.com), the prize pot of €3-7 million might be enough to entice them into participating, and it would be another opportunity to win silverware.

Although the competition is two months away, it could turn out to be a massive disappointment. The farcical preparation is evident, and witnessing two teams boycotting would be bad for the appeal of the concept. Currently, the new Supercoppa Italiana resembles a cheap imitation of the expanded Supercopa de Espana in Spain.

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