If the match did not go to an end, the most surprising thing is that it started.

With fourteen players absent due to Covid-19, the Portuguese club Belenenses was indeed forced to field a team composed of only nine footballers to face the eleven of Benfica on Saturday night in the league.

Above all, the various twists and turns of the meeting did not allow it to go to the end.

"It was a shame to play here tonight", was carried away, during a press conference, Rui Pedro Soares, president of Belenenses, after paying tribute to the dignity of "players who were forced to play ”at the Nacional stadium in Lisbon.

In addition to the many positive players, the coach and several members of the technical staff were missing, which pushed the Belem neighborhood team to start several young players from the reserve, as well as a goalkeeper repositioned as improvised field player.

Furious supporters

Cashing a goal against his camp from the first minute, the modest Lisbon team has logically suffered against the eleven players of the "Eagles", who were already leading 7-0 at the break. Only seven Belenenses players returned to the pitch after half-time and one of them remained on the ground after the restart. Noting his injury, the referee was forced to call the early end of the match in the 48th minute of play, the regulations stipulating that no match can continue "if either team has less than seven players. ".

"The League is a shame," sang supporters in the stadium.

The controversy has also swelled outside.

After communicating to the Football League "that we did not want to play this meeting, we were told that we had eight players able to play" and that the fact of "not appearing could be considered as an unjustified absence", thus explained the president of the club.

"Today, football has lost its color"

"It's a black page for Portuguese football," said Rui Costa, president of Benfica, adding that his club, "just like Belenenses was forced to play" to respect the rules. Belenenses players have also reacted. “Football has color only if it has competition. Football has color only if it has a sporting truth. Football has color only when it is an example of public health. Today, football has lost its color, ”tweeted midfielder Afonso Sousa, one of the absent players, and several other players from his team.

Bernardo Silva, the Portuguese Manchester City star, also expressed his misunderstanding.

" What is that ?

Am I the only one who does not understand why the match was not postponed?

He tweeted.

In Portugal on Saturday night, the ball world did not turn out well.


At 43, the legendary Formiga will play her 234th and last match with the Seleçao


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  • Covid 19

  • Coronavirus

  • Benfica

  • Soccer

  • Portugal

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