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Racing players remain firm on King’s Cup clash boycott

“It’s the only option left,” says one club captain over unpaid wages

Racing players and staff announcing their decision to boycott Thursday's match against Real Sociedad.
Racing players and staff announcing their decision to boycott Thursday's match against Real Sociedad. NACHO CUBERO (DIARIO AS)

The president of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE), Luis Rubiales, said Thursday that the players of financially crippled Segunda División B club Racing Santander remain firm in their decision to boycott the team's second leg King's Cup quarterfinal match against Primera outfit Real Sociedad, due to be played on Thursday night. The decision was made on Monday by the players and coaching staff in protest against unpaid wages stretching back to the start of the season.

"The squad decided something last Monday and they feel exactly the same way now," Rubiales said. "They have the full backing of the AFE, as always."

Announcing their intention to forfeit the tie – progress to the semifinals would mean a big payday for a double-header against Barcelona -- the club employees demanded that president Ángel Lavín and the entire board of directors resign with immediate effect. At this stage, there is little indication that Lavín intends to step aside.

"It's the only option left open to us," said Oriol Lozano, one of the team captains. "This situation is completely out of hand."

"The players should respect the executives," Lavín told EL PAÍS on Wednesday night. "I don't know what will happen tomorrow [Thursday], but tonight I am going to bed as the president of Racing. We will try to find a solution between the parties so that the game can go ahead."

If Racing refuses to take to the pitch, the club could be banned from next year's King's Cup competition.

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