In the Portuguese top league, a game between Benfica and Belenses was abandoned after the players were not up to the required add number to play a game. Joao Monteiro was the third Belenenses player to be injured in the game and his 48th-minute substitution led to the abandonment. The players were only just six to play against eleven players which are against the norms in football.
Belenenses’ Portuguese top-flight match against Benfica was abandoned early in the second half because the home side had only six players on the pitch. They were forced to start the game with nine players using a goalkeeper to play as an outfield player.
Why Benfica vs Belenenses was Abandoned
The reason was that the home team had a Covid outbreak in their club Belenenses with 17 players unavailable and their nine men were already 7-0 down at half-time.
When they resume the second half of the game another player suffered an injury leaving the players to be just six, the game had to be stopped.
Benfica president who was a former Portuguese player Rui Costa said his side were “forced” to play. He also said the two bodies who could have postponed the game, the league and the Directorate-General for Health, did not do so.
According to him, he said: “I regret what happened today, a dark chapter for Portuguese football and for the country itself,” he said.
Manchester City’s Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva commenting on the issue wrote on Twitter earlier in the match, saying: “What is this? Am I the only one who doesn’t understand why the game hasn’t been postponed?”
Sporting Lisbon, third in the table behind Benfica, released a statement saying: “Portuguese football as a whole is seriously harmed today. They further said: “What is happening has serious implications for the credibility of this championship and the institutions that regulate it.”
They added: “What made this situation possible must deserve a deep reflection by all those who defend the sporting truth and must deserve national attention at the highest level.
“It is already receiving international attention and marking yet another dark episode in Portuguese football.”
Belenenses, who had to field goalkeeper Joao Monteiro in defence, got off to the worst possible start, scoring an own goal within the first minute.
The Belenenses players released a joint statement before match that read: “Football only has heart if it is competitive. Football only has heart if it is really sporting.
“Football only has a heart when it is an example of public health. Today, football lost its heart.”