Italian club Pro Piacenza

Italian third division team Pro Piacenza have been thrown out of the league by the governing body of Serie C, Lega Pro, after fielding just seven players in a 20-0 defeat on Sunday.

The club, which has financial problems and are owing their players and other employees, patched together a seven-man team for the game to avoid being kicked out.

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Pro Piacenza had a last chance to present a team for the match, having already forfeited three previous matches due to its financial and staff crisis.

The club’s first team squad and coaching staff refused to travel for the game at Cuneo due to unpaid wages, leaving the team to start with six teenagers and a 39-year-old physiotherapist – the only players they could find.

On Monday, the league’s governing body ruled some of the players were not registered and disqualified the team from the competition, handing Cuneo a 3-0 walkover.

Lega Pro also fined Pro Piacenza 20,000 euros (£17,500), criticising the club’s “unacceptable behaviour” and describing the match as a “farce” and “dangerous”

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.