Racing Santander protest forces Sociedad Copa del Rey call-off

Racing Santander forced the abandonment of their Copa del Rey quarter-final against Real Sociedad by refusing to play because they had not been paid.

When the second leg kicked off, the Santander players huddled together on the edge of the centre circle and would not challenge for the ball.

The protest is expected to cost Santander their place in the competition, although Sociedad had already won the first leg 3-1.

The winners face Barcelona.

Racing Santander players salute their fans as they leave the pitch

"Right now we have mixed feelings of sadness and a kind of joy but it is a shame it had to come to this," said Santander midfielder Javi Soria.

"We hope things get sorted out because we just want to get back to playing and try to make Racing the best it can be."

Racing players had released a statement on Monday warning they would boycott the home tie unless president Angel Lavin and his board stepped down from their positions with the third division club.

The home side turned up and completed their warm-up but, after Sociedad kicked off, stood arm in arm around the centre circle, with substitutes and coaching staff lining up in solidarity on the touchline.

The Santander players leave the pitch after the game is abandoned

Sociedad passed the ball between themselves in their own half for two minutes before kicking it out for a throw-in, at which point the referee signalled that the match was over.

Racing players say they have not been paid for several months.

"We hope there are no legal consequences because we have done this for the good of football, for the good of a city and for the whole of Spain because there are lots of similar cases," added Soria.

Racing Santander defender Saul Garcia speaks with Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez

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