Racing Santander came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round of 16 tie against Almeria, but the actual football was a mere distraction to the players and fans revolting against chairman Angel Lavin.
The match began with Almeria taking the kickoff and Racing players refusing to play in protest of not being paid since September. Almeria showed solidarity with their opponents by passing the ball amongst themselves before kicking it into the stands so Racing could take a throw-in and start the match properly. Then, after an hour of play and with Racing down 1-0, the fans decided to show Lavin how they felt about the situation by physically attacking him.
In the 59th minute a group of fans attacked the presidential box, throwing drinks over the club’s directors and attempting to assault the president Ángel Lavín, with various sources claiming he was kicked by fans. The situation did not return to normal until Racing’s private security were able to cordon off the presidential box.
A group of fans who were sat in the stand behind the goal jumped a fence and headed towards the main stand, where the presidential box is located. The fans, many of whom had their faces covered with scarves slowly made their way towards the box. A short period of uncertainty followed before the security guards were able to impose order again.
Despite their grievances, the players still mounted a comeback and scored an equalizer in the 65th minute as all of this went on in the stands.
Maybe this experience will prompt Lavin to clear up the club's finances. Or maybe he'll just encase the presidential box in bulletproof glass.
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