The Spanish second division season ended in chaos with threats of legal action after a coronavirus outbreak led to the suspension of a key match with implications at both ends of the table.
The game between relegation-threatened Deportivo La Coruna and promotion-chasing Fuenlabrada was postponed on Monday after seven Fuenlabrada players and five members of coaching staff reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
Nine other matches due to be played at the same time went ahead, with La Liga saying a decision had been made with the Spanish football federation (RFEF) and National Sports Council (CSD) as "the solution that best protects the health of players and the global integrity of the competition."
However the move has led to widespread complaints -- from Deportivo as well as other affected clubs such as Elche, Rayo Vallecano and Albacete -- that the outcomes of the promotion and relegation battles have been compromised.
"We will take this to the highest level, because what has been done today is deporable," Deportivo's president Fernando Vidal said. "A club which breaches the protocol and is negligent ends up benefiting. I don't know how this can happen in Spanish football. They call it the best league in the world but this is a real botched job."
The delay means that in the rescheduled game, Fuenlabrada will face an already-relegated Deportivo with nothing to play for, with a win or draw enough to see them beat Elche to the last playoff spot.
"A decision has been made that directly affects the integrity of the competition and we believe that it was not fair," Elche said in a statement on Monday.
Fuenlabrada's players have been isolated at their team hotel in A Coruna since the news emerged. Another round of testing carried out on Tuesday revealed at least eight positive test results.
Players whose results are negative will be allowed to return to Madrid, where the club are based, while the rest will have to remain in quarantine in Galicia.
Local officials have raised concerns that the correct procedures have not been followed.
"La Liga's explanation does not resolve our doubts," the mayor of A Coruna, Ines Rey, said. "The entire team was not isolated... It's a totally irresponsible attitude, the protocols have not been respected."
When the match is eventually played -- with July 30 proposed as a potential date -- Fuenlabrada will have the chance to reach the playoffs as they chase promotion to the Spanish top flight for the first time in their history.
Pending any legal action, Deportivo -- who won La Liga in 2000 and reached the Champions League semifinals in 2004 -- have been relegated to the country's amateur third tier.