Portuguese Soccer League: Corona scandal at Benfica game

Status: 11/28/2021 1:40 p.m.

In the top Portuguese football league, a game by Benfica has been abandoned. The opponent initially met only nine players due to corona infections. Shortly after the break, the farce reached its climax.

Portuguese football made positive headlines a few days ago. Benfica took a 0-0 draw at FC Barcelona and can thus have legitimate hopes of reaching the last sixteen of the Champions League. FC Porto lost 2-0 at Liverpool, but missed great opportunities and kept up very well. The chance of getting ahead is also intact. Sporting even threw the Bundesliga club out of the competition with a 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund and progressed themselves.

On Saturday (November 27th, 2021), however, the Primeira Liga, the highest league in the country, wrote negative headlines. The league game between Belenenses SAD and Benfica was canceled when the score was 0: 7 because the home club only had six players on the field.

Belenenses started at nine

Belenenses, a club from the greater Lisbon area, had only nine players, including two goalkeepers, one of whom played in midfield. The reason for the decimated team, which consequently played without a substitute, was a number of corona infections.

According to President Rui Pedro Soares, the club did not request a transfer because the authorities had urged the game to be played. President Soares complained that his players were “forced” to compete. The league had informed the club that it had enough professionals available and that a failure to appear could be viewed as an “unjustified absence”.

“Dark Chapter for Portuguese Football”

Benfica’s President Rui Costa spoke of a “dark chapter for Portuguese football”. Joaquim Evangelista, president of the players’ union, said: “What happened tonight is absolutely unacceptable and must not be repeated.” There are “values ​​that are more important than any competition or calendar requirement, namely the health of the athletes and the integrity of the competition”.

Referee Manuel Mota ends the game between Benfica and Belenenses

Image: Reuters

In any case, the game initially took the expected sporting course. B-SAD, as the club is also known, fell behind after a few seconds with an own goal. At the break, the record champions from Lisbon led 7-0, and the former German international Julian Weigl had also scored.

Six players = abort – that’s what the rules say

As if the farce wasn’t damaging its image enough, B-SAD came out of the dressing room with only seven players in the second half. One of them went to the ground shortly after the whistle and reported to the referee that he was injured. Since only six players were able to play for Belenenses, the game was properly canceled.

Portuguese football has a lot to deal with in the coming days.

Those: sportschau.de


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