Soccer-Levante players stage kickoff protest against Deportivo

MADRID Wed May 7, 2008 7:41pm BST

MADRID May 7 (Reuters) - Players from relegated Levante stood still after the kickoff of their Primera Liga game against Deportivo Coruna on Wednesday in protest at the cash-strapped club's failure to pay them money they are owed this season.

The Levante players, who had taken to the pitch wearing T-shirts protesting about their predicament, stood in the centre circle while a Deportivo player ran the length of the pitch and then kicked the ball out for a goal kick.

The game resumed normally after the restart.

Last month the players threatened to go on strike if they did not receive the money owed but called off the action after the club promised to pay up.

Levante have suffered financial problems throughout the campaign because of increased expenses, lower than expected television revenue and delays to a plan to raise funds by selling their city-centre stadium. (Reporting by Simon Baskett)

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