Jan 30, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT
We see this stuff every now and then, players protesting over lack of pay, but it’s usually in third-world lands or the lower tiers of more advanced lands.
To have such an unbecoming episode happen in Spain, during a well-regarded competition, no less, is something else.
Protesting their club’s board and, specifically, accusations that they haven’t been paid in months, players from Spanish club Racing Santander refused to participate Thursday against Real Sociedad as the teams’ Copa del Rey match started and was quickly abandoned.
According to several reports, Racing’s players warmed up and then stood in the middle of the field, arm in arm, as Real Sociedad players passed the ball around and then out of bounds. The referee then signaled that the match would be abandoned.
It was a second-leg contest; Sociedad had prevailed in the first leg, 3-1, and will move on to face mighty Barcelona in the tournament’s semifinals. The Copa del Rey is Spain’s second most important competition after the La Liga crown.
Racing players had threatened to do this very thing if club president Ángel Lavín and the entire board of directors refused to resign. Spanish soccer officials had attempted to intercede, but were clearly unsuccessful in their efforts to get Racing to play the match and avoid the embarrassment and added attention – like American blogs picking up on the story.
Racing is Spain’s second division.
- In MLS, West is best… at least for a weekend 0
- Netherlands and Roma on alert after Kevin Strootman carted off against Napoli 0
- Quick Six: Chelsea’s second halves, Fulham helps Cardiff, and the rest of the headlines from this weekend’s Premier League action 0
- Americans Abroad Review: Boyd and Johannsson shine again 1
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer 0
- MLS roundup: Houston, Vancouver sit on top of their conferences after day one 0
- Will Johnson: We Weren't all Quite at the Races
- Owners Legal Issues Have Caught Up to Queretaro
- Juventus Prove They Know how to Win Despite Weak Performance Against Fiore
- Liverpool is Ready to Spend $100 Million in Summer Transfers
- Dallas Manage 3-2 Win in Season Opener Against Impact
- Dynamo Shut Out the Revs as Bruin Scores a Pair
- Argentine Melodies Illuminate Rainy Night in Portland
- LA Galaxy Gift Real Salt Lake Three Points in Season Opener
- Berhalter Gets First Win as Columbus Downs D.C. United 3-0
- Colorado Rapids - 3 Hopes and One Fear