February 19 – An Italian third division club which cobbled together a seven-man team in order to avoid being thrown out of the league and promptly lost 20-0 has been booted out anyway despite fulfilling their promise to fulfil the fixture.
Relegation-threatened crisis club Pro Piacenza fielded six teenagers, one of whom doubled up as coach for the day.
Pro Piacenza had already forfeited three matches and not playing a fourth at Cuneo on Sunday would have seen it thrown out of Serie C. Seven players is the minimum number required but after ruling Monday that some the players were not registered for the match, Lega Serie C’s disciplinary committee disqualified the team regardless.
But Cuneo also lost out, awarded a walkover 3-0 win and losing 17 goals in the process.
The Italian football federation (FIGC) later said the club had been disaffiliated due to “the serious regulatory violations which occurred at the Cuneo-Pro Piacenza match added to the other numerous documented irregularities.”
Pro Piacenza were bottom of the North and Central West group of Serie C, which is split into three 20-team regional groups.
The club, who are in deep financial trouble, have been unable to pay their players and staff. Lega Pro also fined them €20,000 criticising their “unacceptable behaviour” and describing the match as a “farce” and “dangerous”.
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