Benfica match abandoned at 7-0 after Covid-hit Belenenses reduced to six men
By Calum Forster
Benfica took a 7-0 lead before half-time, and the referee was forced to call the game off a minute into the second half after another injury for Belenenses took their side beneath the minimum number of players required on the field.
Following a positive test in the Belenenses squad earlier in the week, a total of 17 cases were reported amongst the players and staff. Despite the squad running on a thin squad the match went ahead with only nine players being selected and a goalkeeper starting in midfield.
"Estádio da Luz, Lisboa, 20151016" by G · RTM is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The players of Belenenses released a statement before the game saying: Football only has heart if it is competitive. Football only has heart if it is really sporting. Football only has heart when it is an example of public health. Today, football lost its heart."
A Darwin Nunez hat-trick and goals coming from Seferovic and Weigl the game was already over in the first half against an opposition team who were down to seven men before half time after two players gained injuries. They were unable to be replaced due to Belenenses not being able to name a bench.
A minute into the second half the referee was then forced to call the game off after another Belenenses player had to come off injured which took the number of players on their side to six, which is below the minimum number of players that are required to be on the field.
With Belenenses having a decimated squad many football fans were left bewildered and in disbelief that the game was going ahead. Manchester City and former Benfica player, Bernardo Silva took to social during the first half saying: "What is this? Am I the only one who doesn't understand why the game hasn't been postponed?"
Although for some fans football seems to be edging back to normality this game goes to show that Coronavirus is still very much a hot topic for leagues around the world. The Bundesliga is another league that is being hit with a surge in covid cases with Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig among a host of clubs being hit with a virus hit squad.