Match-fixing has long been a problem in Italian football, but Calcio has rarely seen anything like what happened at the third division match between Salernitana and Nocerina last weekend.
Nocerina forced the referee to call the game after only 20 minutes as five of their players faked injuries which required their withdrawal, leaving the visitors with only six players left on the field.
The Nocerina players are reported to have been afraid to play the game following police orders that their fans could not attend the match. With the banning order in place, Nocerina’s ultras issued death threats to their own players should they disobey them and play the match.
What happened was remarkable.
After a 30 minute delay before kick off for trouble outside the ground, Nocerina made three substitutions in the first minute of he game. After that, the Nocerina players gave a series of virtuoso acting performances as no less than five of them had to be stretchered or helped off the field in the next 20 minutes.
An Italian news report into the fiasco, along with more footage from the before and during the match, can be seen below.