Match abandoned after fans 'threaten to kill opposition players'

An Italian football match had to be abandoned after one side claimed supporters from the other threatened to kill their players.

Match abandoned after fans 'threaten to kill opposition players'

An Italian football match had to be abandoned after one side claimed supporters from the other threatened to kill their players.

About 30 fans of the southern club Nocerina have been identified for allegedly issuing death threats.

A prosecutor has opened an inquiry into the events surrounding Sunday’s Salernitana-Nocerina match.

The area near Naples where the two clubs are from is infested by the Camorra crime syndicate.

Because of a history of tension between the two clubs, supporters for Nocerina were banned from the stadium and they responded by making sure the match was suspended.

The hard-core “ultra” fans surrounded Nocerina’s bus and allegedly threatened to kill the team if they played.

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.

Fans even hired an plane to fly over the stadium with a banner that said, “Respect for Nocera and the ultras.”

Nocerina’s “ultra” fans issued a statement saying that they did not issue any death threats. Rather, they said they only wanted to give an “unmistakable message” and “give voice to an unfair act imposed on the fans.”

Nearly 9,000 fans attended the match and some asked for their money back.

There have been calls for Nocerina to be kicked out of the league, which is known as Lega Pro.

Italian football has been marred by racism, territorial chants and fan violence for years. Already this season a handful of Serie A clubs have had portions of their stadiums closed through bad behaviour.

“We’re the laughing stock of the entire world,” Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said, adding that the neighbouring clubs should not have been placed in the same division.

Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete added that the incident should prompt “serious reflection on how to prevent these situations.”

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