Italy: Nocerina investigating 'death threats' sent to players
An investigation has been launched into allegations that Nocerina players received death threats from their supporters.
Last Updated: 11/11/13 8:46pm
The Salerno derby of the Lega Pro B was called off by the referee after just 21 minutes on Sunday with five Nocerina players having allegedly faked injuries, leaving just six players on the pitch - not enough for the game to continue.
A group of ultra supporters of Nocerina were banned from entering the stadium in order to avoid any potential incidents as the game was considered of high risk.
The fans reportedly reacted by sending death threats to those players who stepped on to the pitch - claims that Nocerina vehemently denied on Monday.
However, Nocera public prosecutor Giancarlo Izzo has opened an investigation into Sunday's events.
"Football's image has been stained," Izzo said to Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Those responsible for what has happened cannot think they will get away with this."
The encounter in the Naples region had kicked off 40 minutes late with the Nocerina players not stepping on to the field.
However, Nocerina's sporting director Luigi Pavarese denied the fake-injury allegations, claiming "that the players went on to the pitch without warming up which caused the injuries".
Pavarese and club coach Gaetano Fontana subsequently handed in their resignations only for Nocerina to turn both of them down on Monday.
A statement from Nocerina read: "Nocerina invites Luigi Pavarese and Gaetano Fontana to immediately return to their roles in order to guarantee maximum transparency and loyalty towards the continuation of the tournament.
"The club waits with maximum calmness the results of the investigation and the decision that will be taken by the competent bodies."
At least 30 fans have been identified using video footage taken at Nocerina's training ground, where supporters allegedly made those threats.
"This is a disgrace," Lega Pro director general Francesco Ghirelli said as reported in Gazzetta dello Sport. "This has caused enormous damage and it's an extremely serious matter.
"We will wait for the sporting tribunal to judge this episode which has done huge damage to the Lega Pro."