Belenenses’ La Liga match with Benfica was abandoned in the second half after the spread of Covid forced them to start the match with just nine players – two of them goalkeepers.
Instead of postponing the match when news emerged that 14 players and three staff had tested positive, the Portuguese league authorities imposed penalties to go ahead as both clubs were still able to field the required minimum of seven players.
The nine men fell behind in the first minute with an own goal, losing 7-0 at the break. Long after the first half, only seven Belenenses players returned to start the second half. after a minute The referee had to cancel the match When goalkeeper Joao Monteiro, who was playing in the middle of the field, fell onto the pitch, claiming an injury.
Belenenses players were A joint statement was issued Before kick-off, he said: “Football only has a heart if it is competitive. Football has a heart only if it is athletic. Football only has a heart when it is an example of public health. Today, football has lost its heart.”
The club’s president, Rui Pedro Soares, said that despite a series of positive tests, he had not requested a postponement due to fears of match overcrowding. “The calendar is not well planned – and the consequences are plain to see.”