FLORENCE, Italy (AP) A third-tier Italian soccer team has been kicked out of the league after losing a match 20-0 on Sunday.
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Lega Pro, the governing body of Serie C, announced the exclusion of Pro Piacenza on Monday.
Pro Piacenza, which has financial problems and hadn’t paid its players or staff, needed to present a team for the match or would have been thrown out of the division after having already forfeited three matches.
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The team turned up at Cuneo with just seven players, the minimum number required. They were all between 16 and 19 years old, with captain Nicola Cirigliano listed as the coach, and one of the players forgot his identity card, so the masseur was forced to play.
Cuneo led 16-0 at halftime of the match, which Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina said would be “the last farce.”
The headline is not a typo. This actually happened in Italy on Sunday.
AS Pro Piacenza 1919 lost 20-0 to Cuneo in Serie C, as they were 16-0 down at half time.
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Going into the final minute they were 19-0 down and had the scoreline stayed that way, you could argue it would have been somewhat fitting…
Anyway, how on earth did this happen, I hear you cry?
Pro Piacenza are in dire financial problems and had to field a team of at least seven players to not forfeit the game and therefore not lose their place in Italy’s third-tier.
Their president Maurizio Pannella has overseen the demise, with players leaving the club in recent months after not being paid.
Rules stated that if Piacenza had forfeited a a fourth game this season (they had forfeited each of their last three games) then they would have lost their place in Serie C.
Therefore, a few teenagers played against Cuneo on Sunday and according to reporters one of the 19-year-old players was also managing the team. Before this game Cuneo had scored 18 goals all season long, so at least their players got a huge confidence boost from this sorry saga.
More details are sure to filter through about this situation, as Pro Piacenza are in the headlines across the world for all of the wrong reasons.