TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
Soccer

Santander boycotts Copa quarterfinals over unpaid wages

{eot}
The Canadian Press
1/30/2014 4:53:57 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

SANTANDER, Spain -- Racing Santander made good on its threat to boycott its Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Real Sociedad over unpaid wages, refusing to play on Thursday because the club's president did not resign.

Sociedad held a 3-1 first-leg lead going into the match at El Sardinero Stadium, but players from third-tier Santander said they had no intention of playing if Angel Lavin and his board did not step down.

Both teams took to the field but Santander's players immediately lined up near the half after kickoff and refused to play, with the referee suspending the game after one minute.

Sociedad kicked the ball around before shooting it into the stands where spectators showed their support for the players by chanting "don't play!"

"What we did today was in respect of football, a sport that we love," coach Paco Fernandez said. "Today was the most important game of our lives, but our dignity took precedence."

International players' union, FIFPRO, and Spanish union AFE both supported the move, which comes after the lower-tier club's players had not been paid in four months despite promises by Lavin.

Santander's actions could see the club fined or even banned from the Copa del Rey next season.

"It's very difficult to decide to do this, especially in a quarterfinal. It's an extreme situation," defender Oriol Lozarano said. "We know what the consequences could be, that we can be kicked out of the competition, but we knew we had the support of the fans to do what we did."

It's not the first time that Santander has used the domestic cup competition to bring awareness to its situation, with the players standing idly for 30 seconds to start a last-16 game against Almeria before eventually playing. That match also saw Santander ultras invade the president's box, sparking off violent scenes.

Fans were allowed to enter El Sardinero for free on Thursday.

Santander has slipped down to the third division in just two seasons following the exit of former owner Ahsan Ali Syed, who left the club in crisis, relegated from the top-flight in 2012 and needing a cash injection just to stay afloat.

Santander is not the first team to refuse to play a Copa del Rey game, with Barcelona boycotting a return leg against Atletico Madrid during the 1999-2000 season. But in that case, Barcelona boycotted because of scheduling with the international calendar leaving it with just nine outfield players available.

Sociedad will play Barcelona in the semifinals.

Soccer Balls (Photo: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Premier League Shows on TSN.ca

TSN.ca is Canada's exclusive home to highlight and feature programs from the Barclay's Premier League. Check out the latest programs on VOD below.


Net Busters

BPL Match Pack

Podcasts

TSN FC with Luke Wileman, Jason deVos & Kristian Jack - Apr 15

Luke, Jason and Kristian recap the Hillsborough tribute at Anfield, chat Toronto FC & Whitecaps, plus the NCAA route and how it develops players.

TSN 690: oranges at halftime: Apr 14 - Patrice Bernier

We chat Chicago disappointments, Karl Ouimette and PatriceBernier.com with the Impact captain

TSN 690: oranges at halftime: Apr 14 - Gareth Wheeler

Can Liverpool hang on to top spot, will Fulham and Wenger survive - Barclays Premier League breakdown with the host of the BPL on TSN Radio


More Podcasts

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television