A soccer game in the Campania region of Italy came to an untimely end last weekend when five Nocerina players faked injury in twenty minutes. Having already made three substitutions, Nocerina had just six players left to face Salernitana and the game was abandoned.
Turns out, however, the obviously faked injuries were motivated by death threats to the Nocerina players from their own fans:
Lower division football in southern Italy has always been a passionate affair, dominated by fierce local rivalries. In this case, such is the bad blood between Salernitana and Nocerina fans that police authorities banned the Nocerina fans from travelling to Salerno for Sunday’s game.
The Nocerina “ultras” (diehard fans), however, decided otherwise. If we cannot go to the match, then we will stop it being played, seems to have been their reasoning. Thus a delegation of Nocerina “fans” paid a visit to the team hotel some hours before Sunday’s derby to deliver a threatening message of the “If You Play, We’ll Kill You” variety.
I guess the lesson here is think twice before you make fun of soccer as a game played by injury-faking Europeans. You might not know the whole story. [video via Digg]