Racing Santander players refuse to play over unpaid wages

Racing Santander refused to play their Copa Del Rey second-leg tie against Real Sociedad on Thursday night in protest at not being paid since September.

They stood still on the pitch at their home ground, Campos de Sport de El Sardinero, after kick-off while Sociedad passed the ball about.

Referee Gil Manzano asked the Santander players if they were going to participate and they said no, so he ended the contest.

The Racing fans cheered wildly and backed their players in their protest, continuing to shout and applaud long after the referee abandoned the match.
'We have given up what we like most, which is to play,' said Racing striker Mariano Sanz.

'We wanted to play but we couldn't let them stand on our rights. To play in the quarters was a dream for us, everything had gone so well to get there.

'It is a shame to end it like this but we were clear in what we were doing.'
Real Sociedad's coach, Jagoba Mondragon, said that he is happy to have reached the compeition's semi-finals but admitted that it was not 'a day to celebrate'.

He explained how Racing's coach Paco Fernandez had told him about what was going to happen before the game.

He also said that Racing's players were in an 'uncomfortable' situation and had sympathy with them for 'everything they are going through'.

The supporters remained for over an hour after the game was abandoned, still shouting, cheering and singing.