Early Doors

Team charged with sporting fraud after eight ‘injuries’ in 19 minutes

Italian third tier side Nocerina have been charged with sporting fraud after a farcical derby match against Salernitana on November 10.

The game made headlines when Nocerina used all their substitutions after two minutes, then five more players went off 'injured' forcing the referee to abandon the match in the 19th minute.

The Nocerina players, who initally refused to get off the team bus, had allegedly been threatened by their own fans, who were determined the game should not go ahead after they had been banned due to security fears.

The club and 17 of its members - including 11 players - have been charged with "agreeing before and during the game to alter the regular completion of the Salernitana-Nocerina game".

The charge continued: “They agreed to three substitutions in the opening minute and simulated, over 16 minutes from the 4th to the 19th, five injuries to ensure the game would have to be suspended."

Nocerina have denied the offence, with club President Luigi Benevento saying: "This club never incentivised, nor aided, the decision not to step on to the pitch.

"On the contrary, the club did everything possible to make the players take part in the game despite their evident fear, as they were threatened in the training retreat and then almost forced to play by the security officials who met them on the bus."

The club's ultras deny making death threats to the players if they went ahead with the fixture. They hired a light aircraft to fly over Salernitana's stadium, saying: "Respect to Nocera and the ultras".