La Liga game delayed by tennis ball protest | inside World Soccer

Not at all happy about the kickoff of their match against Levante pushed back to a late-night time slot, Sevilla fans decided to protest by throwing tennis balls onto the pitch.

Stadium employees collect tennis balls that have been thrown by fans
Stadium employees collect tennis balls that have been thrown by fans

Photo: Getty Images

The game at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán had been moved back to 22:30 local time because of the El Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid that kicked off two-and-a-half hours earlier.

Seconds 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.

Meanwhile, the crowd held up a banner that read "Stop the match, Mourinho is talking" in reference to Madrid coach José Mourinho's post-match press conference.

The protest mirrored a similar incident in late 2010 by fans of FC Basel, who showered the pitch with tennis balls during a game after the kickoff time was pushed back to avoid a clash with the ATP Basel tournament final between Novak Djokovic and local boy Roger Federer.

When play resumed, Sevilla and Levante played out a 1-1 draw.



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