Benfica match deserted after Covid-hit opponents left with six gamers

2021-11-28 15:46:36

Benfica took benefit of their numerical superiority to rack up seven objectives by half-time earlier than Belenenses returned with solely seven gamers for the second interval.

The match was then known as off two minutes after the break when Joao Monteiro, a goalkeeper enjoying in midfield, sat down on the down unable to proceed, forcing the referee to desert the sport which requires a minimal of seven gamers.

Following a optimistic Covid-19 check within the squad earlier within the week, a complete of 17 instances have been reported amongst Belenenses gamers and employees, the membership’s president Rui Pedro Soares advised a information convention on Saturday earlier than the match.

The Belenenses gamers shared a message on social media earlier than the sport that stated: “Soccer solely has coronary heart whether it is aggressive. Soccer solely has coronary heart whether it is actually sporting. Soccer solely has coronary heart when it’s an instance of public well being. At this time, soccer misplaced its coronary heart.”

Soares advised reporters he had unsuccessfully requested the authorities for the sport to be postponed.

“In the midst of the afternoon we communicated to the Liga that we did not wish to play the sport,” he stated.

“We had eight gamers who may attend the sport and as such they advised us that if we did not attend the sport it could be unjustified absence.

“Enjoying right here in the present day was a disgrace for all of us.”

New variant

Soares advised Saturday’s information convention that defender Cafu Phete had examined optimistic for Covid, having returned to Portugal on Thursday from worldwide responsibility in South Africa.
Soares added that he was involved the instances within the squad could possibly be associated to the brand new Omicron variant.
It was first found in South Africa and the World Well being Organisation (WHO) on Friday classed it as a” variant of concern,” saying it could unfold extra shortly than different kinds.
Bayern Munich stars Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting test positive for Covid-19 as club grapples with virus

Benfica president Rui Costa stated his facet had no alternative however to play the sport on Saturday.

“We didn’t prefer to enter the pitch underneath these circumstances,” he stated. “Benfica was compelled to do it like Belenenses. I remorse what occurred in the present day, a darkish chapter for Portuguese soccer and for the nation itself.”

Sporting, third within the standings behind leaders Benfica, additionally launched an announcement.

“What made this case doable should deserve a deep reflection by all those that defend the sporting reality and should deserve nationwide consideration on the highest stage,” it stated.

“It’s already receiving worldwide consideration and marking yet one more darkish episode in Portuguese soccer…”

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