Italian match abandoned within 21 minutes after visiting team left with only six players | inside World Soccer

An Italian third-tier derby match was called off on Sunday when one team were bizarrely reduced to six players after only 21 minutes' play.

Nocerina make their three permitted substitutions in the first two minutes of the game
Nocerina make their three permitted substitutions in the first two minutes of the game

Photo: Forza

The southern derby match between hosts Salernitana and Nocerina kicked-off 40 minutes late because the visiting players had refused to get off the team bus, reportedly unnerved by alleged death threats they had received from their own fans, who were angry at being banned from attending the game.

Nocerina eventually took the field but they used all three of their substitutions within the first two minutes of the match.

Over the next 19 minutes, five of their players limped off with "injuries", leaving the team with six players and forcing the referee to call a halt to proceedings.

The entire Nocerina Board of Directors have resigned in the aftermath of the match while the players imposed a media silence.

"I'm just here to announce that all the directors of Nocerina have resigned and that the players will not be speaking to the media," Sporting Director Luigi Pavarese told the media.

Asked about the injuries, he replied: "The players went onto the pitch without warming up, which caused the injuries."

"This has caused enormous damage, it's an extremely grave matter," Lega Pro Director General Francesco Ghirelli told RAI television.

"We have to reflect on how to prevent these indecent spectacles. It's a disgrace.

"We will wait for the sporting tribunal to judge this episode which has done huge damage to the Lega Pro."


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