Italian club forfeits match after death threats

Flat out ... Nocerina players went out for the count.

Italian third division team Nocerina has forfeited a match after several players faked injuries after death threats from fans.

With just 21 minutes of their Salerno derby against Salernitana played, Nocerina had lost eight players to "injury".

Having used up its quota of three substitutes, which had come within the first minute, it left the team from Nocera Inferiore in Campania with just six players on the pitch - not enough to contest a match - and the referee was forced to call it off.

Nocerina players had received death threats prior to the match and according to local prefect Antonio De Iesu: "Nocerina's management had to convince the players to take to the field despite the threats."

Nocerina, which is bottom of Group B in the Lega Pro, the third tier of Italian football, is likely to face punishment.

"These events have caused great damage to football and the Lega Pro," the league's president, Mario Macalli, said.

He added that charges would be brought against "the delinquents who were responsible for the threats and against those who played out a film on the pitch".