Benfica’s extraordinary game at Belenenses was called off early in the second half when the hosts were unable to field enough players.
League leaders Benfica were leading 7-0 at halftime in part because the relegation fighters started the game with nine players, including two goalkeepers.
Despite the deficit at half-time, the second half was still played, but the referee was forced to put Belenenses out of his misery when goalkeeper Joao Monteiro – playing in midfield – got injured, this which means that the minimum number of players was not on the field. The game was then discontinued.
COVID tests carried out during the week saw 17 team members self-isolate, causing a shortage for the squad who are 18th in Primeira Liga.
Considering the seriousness of the club’s situation, the hosts were disappointed that the game was going.
“Football only has a heart if it is competitive. Football has a heart only if it is truly sporting, ”we read in a joint statement from the players.
“Football only has a heart when it is an example of public health. Today, football has lost its heart.
Belenenses also received backing from Manchester City star Bernardo Silva and Wolves forward Ruben Neves.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “What is this? Am I the only one who does not understand why the match was not postponed? He elicited a response from his compatriot and Premier League colleague, who wrote: “Exactly. It is not really understandable.
As for the game itself, Benfica’s Darwin Nunez scored a hat-trick during the rout and there were other goals for former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl and Swiss striker Haris Seferovic.
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