Dramatic scenes in Copa Del Rey. Racing Santander stand in unity and refuse to play after not being paid for 6 months pic.twitter.com/qTfn4TM3pf— TheSPORTBible (@TSBible) January 30, 2014
Racing Santander boycotted its Copa Del Rey second-leg match against Real Sociedad on Thursday, protesting the fact that the players haven't been paid since September.
It's not that the team – down 3-1 after the first leg – didn't show up. They stood on the field, arm-in-arm, as Sociedad passed the ball around on their side of the pitch.
Far from resenting the gesture, Racing's fans embraced the protest, cheering wildly long after the referee had defaulted the game to Sociedad.
Earlier in the week, the Racing players said that they wouldn't play unless president Angel Lavin and his board resigned from their positions. And given that Racing Santander's brass didn't budge, the players decided to follow suit.
“It's very difficult to decide to do this, especially in a quarterfinal. It's an extreme situation,” defender Oriol Lozarano told the AP. “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.”