Santander banned from 2014-15 Copa over boycott

MADRID (AP) — A boycott of a Copa del Rey quarterfinal by Racing Santander's players over unpaid wages has caused the third-tier Spanish club to be banned from the domestic cup tournament for one season.

Santander players refused to play after taking the field against Real Sociedad on Thursday, with the referee suspending the quarterfinal return leg after one minute.

For that stance, Santander was banned from the Copa del Rey for the 2014-15 season, and the heavily indebted club also received a fine of 3,006 euros ($4,056).

Racing players boycotted the match following a refusal by club president Angel Lavin to resign after the players had gone four months without being paid.

Lavin and his fellow directors were removed from their positions at a club board meeting on Friday.

Former Racing player Tuto Sanudo replaced Lavin as president, while former players Paco Liano and Pedro Alba will join Sanudo's team on the board.

"The only thing they wanted was to destroy (Santander). Now, the team is finally free of that," captain Mario Fernandez was quoted as saying.

Real Sociedad advanced to play Barcelona in the semifinals after winning the first leg 3-1.