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Unpaid Spanish players seek 2nd-division game postponement

Atletico Madrid v Reus - Copa del Rey: Round of 32

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 17: Jesus Olmo of CF Reus reacts during the Copa del Rey Round of 32 match between Club Atletico Madrid and CF Reus Deportiu at Vicente Claderon stadium on December 17, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

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MADRID (AP) -- Spain’s players’ association on Friday joined the players of second-division team Reus in asking the country’s soccer federation to postpone its next match because of the club’s critical financial situation.

The association says that it made the request regarding Reus’ match at Malaga on Sunday. Reus only has 12 players because their former teammates left after not having been paid for over three months, thereby freeing them from their contracts.

U.S. defender Shaq Moore, who was on loan from first-division club Levante, was one of those who left. He has returned to Levante.

The association says Reus “is in clear inferiority from a sporting perspective in relation to its rivals.” Reus, a club from northeastern Spain founded in 1909, said last month that it had found the money to play its players, but four have since left.

The players have blamed the situation on majority stakeholder Joan Oliver.

Reus is in 21st place in the 22-team division.