Napoli club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has tested positive for COVID-19, right after attending a Serie A meeting with other club representatives of each twenty teams in the league, the club announced Thursday.
“SSC Napoli can confirm that club president Aurelio De Laurentiis tested positive for Covid-19,” the club said on its website, but gave no further details.
Italian news reports said De Laurentiis showed symptoms of the disease when meeting other Serie A officials that took place in Milan on Wednesday as the first meeting scheduled in-person, to discuss TV rights and the resumption of Italy’s top-flight league.
De Laurentiis, 71, who is also a prominent Italian film producer initially thought his higher temperature was the result of indigestion after eating oysters.
He was not told that he tested positive until the evening after the Milan meeting, wrote the La Gazzetta dello Sport.
He then immediately warned other delegates that attended the meeting as well as journalists who spoke to him, news reports said.
De Laurentiis, is best known for buying Napoli after the club had gone bankrupt in 2004 and were relegated to the third division of Italian football.
After three years, Napoli returned to Serie A football and is now reportedly one of the few clubs in the league to routinely turn a profit.
While at Napoli, “ADL”, as De Laurentiis is known, made a name as one of the most outspoken presidents in Europe and he has often challenged other clubs, referees and players.
In July he demanded that Napoli’s Champions League last-16, second leg game against Barcelona be moved from Spain because of the new wave of coronavirus cases there, hence, the game was eventually played in Barcelona and Napoli lost 4-2 on aggregate.