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Italian club expelled from division after “Derby of Hate” actions

Italy Fan Death Threats

In this photo taken Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, and made available Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, a group of hard-core “ultra” fans surrounds Nocerina’s bus and allegedly shout threats to players if they played, in Salerno, Southern Italy. About 30 supporters of the southern club Nocerina have been identified for allegedly issuing death threats to players, which prompted a third-division derby to be abandoned in the latest case of fan violence to mar Italian football. A local prosecutor opened an inquiry Monday into the events surrounding Sunday’s Salernitana-Nocerina match. Considering the historical tension between the two clubs, supporters for Nocerina were banned from the stadium and they responded by making sure the match was suspended. Nocerina responded by using all three of its substitutions after two minutes and five players then appeared to fake injuries, leaving the club with only six men and forcing the referee to stop the match after 21 minutes. (AP Photo/Francesco Pecoraro)


Quite proud of that salacious headline, thank you.

ASG Nocerina is a club that was founded in 1910 and boasts two Serie C championships during its 100-plus years of existence, but now it carries a more notorious line in the record books.

They’ve been expelled from Italy’s third division.

In a bizarre story fueled by fear of its own ultras, Nocerina was afraid to play in their “Derby of Hate” versus rivals Salernitana.

Death threats from your ultras will do that, but how the Italian club responded is what got them in hot water with Italian Football Federation officials (the FIGC).

The match started 40 minutes late as the players didn’t want to take the field. Their fans were livid to have been banned from attending the encounter.

Within 21 minutes, the frightened team made all three of their substitutions and faked five injuries, leaving the referees with no alternative but to call the game.

The FIGC released this statement:

“Nocerina have been excluded from the Lega Pro championship for sporting fraud and will be assigned by the Federal Council to one of the leagues’ lower categories.

“The club has also been fined 10,000 euros. The decision comes into effect immediately and has been announced to the Lega Pro and its stakeholders.”

For what it’s worth, as the BBC report says, Salernitana’s president Claudio Lotito compared the derby to “forcing Israelis to take on the Palestinians.” He also holds that gig at Lazio.

Follow @nicholasmendola