Crisis club Serie C Pro Piacenza loses 20-0 with only seven players



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Pro Piacenza lost 16-0 at halftime. Ian Walton / Getty Images

The Serie C Pro Crisis Club Piacenza was beaten 20-0 in Cuneo on Sunday after being able to put in play only seven players to start the match, the minimum number required for a game.

Pro Piacenza, whose players were all between 16 and 19 years old and led by 19-year-old captain Nicola Cirigliano, lost 16-0 at half-time in the third-tier Italian duel.

Their regular gaming staff and coaches had refused to travel to Cuneo because of their persistent expectation of late pay.

Six of Pro Piacenza's players were only 17 years old, while an eighth had left his ID and could not play in a game that the Lega Pro had given the green light until earlier in the week after postponing all due to the financial insecurity surrounding the club.

The eighth player finally arrived an hour later after returning with his identity card, but Piacenza was reduced to seven minutes fifteen minutes later when a player left injured.

Local media Sport Piacenza gave up its reports on the match by writing that readers would be informed of the final result once the "joke" finished.

"What happened in Cuneo with Pro Piacenza is an insult to sport and its founding principles," said Italian Football Federation President Gabriele Gravina.

"Our responsibility is to protect the fans … and the credibility of our championships," said Gravina, adding that the match "which we have just attended, against our will, will be the last farce".

Pro Piacenza had already dropped three Serie C games this season and had played Sunday, as missing a fourth would have resulted in their expulsion under league rules.

The club, which was suffering from serious financial problems, was sold for a par value of 1 € last summer.

The senior players went on strike and left the non-payment of wages, while the loans were returned to their parent clubs.

Pro Piacenza, who has changed chief executive four times in six months, is comforting the rest of the division with just eight points. Relegation is inevitable, even if the club spends the rest of the season.

Cueno, who before the game had scored 18 goals all season, scored 17-0 with 20 minutes to play, scoring his 20th goal in the 90th minute.

Information from Ben Gladwell, ESPN FC Italy correspondent, has been used in this report..

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