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Dirty Tackle

Sevilla fans protest with tennis ball hailstorm

Dirty Tackle

The tennis balls strike again. (Getty)

Not at all happy about the kickoff of their match against Levante pushed back to a late-night time slot so Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Barcelona could have sole possession of the prime-time spotlight, Sevilla fans decided to protest. With tennis balls.

Just after the match finally began, fans behind the home team's goal threw tennis balls onto the pitch by the dozens. And as stewards tried to clear the balls away, they just kept coming while the crowd held up a banner that read "Stop the match, Mourinho is talking" in reference to Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho's post-match press conference.

From Reuters:

The game at the Sanchez Pizjuan had been moved back to 2230 local time (2030 GMT) because of the 'Clasico' between Barcelona and Real Madrid that kicked off two-and-a-half hours earlier.

"The match has begun but it has now been suspended because of the throwing of tennis balls," Levante wrote on their Twitter feed. "It's a form of protest over the 'Clasico'."

Protesting special treatment for the league's two biggest clubs is all fine and good, but why tennis balls? Well, Basel fans did the same thing two years ago (twice in one match) when their kickoff against Luzern was pushed back to avoid a clash with the ATP Basel tournament final between Novak Djokovic and local boy Roger Federer. So it seems Sevilla fans liked the idea so much that they decided to do it themselves, even though their own delay had nothing to do with tennis.

[Also: Forbes: David Beckham leads highest-paid footballers | Most-valuable soccer clubs]

Here's video of Sevilla's version of the tennis ball protest...

After all the balls were thrown, Sevilla and Levante played out a 1-1 draw. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho sent assistant Aitor Karanka to speak on his behalf after beating Barcelona as his way of protesting the media.

La Liga: Everyone is protesting something.

Video via 101gg

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