Belenenses wants Benfica game to replay to clean Portuguese football ‘black page’

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Belenenses has called on the Portuguese league to replay their match against Benfica in order to clean up a “black page” in the country’s football.

Primeira Liga match at Jamor Stadium was abandoned three minutes after the start of the second half Saturday with Belenenses trailing, 7-0, and not having the minimum of seven players required on the field.

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The The Portuguese League has opened an investigation on the case which she said left an “extremely negative image” for the country’s top football competition.

The league came under heavy criticism for allowing the 12th round match to go ahead due to a COVID outbreak that had excluded 17 players from Belenenses.

Asked about their request to replay the game, Belenenses chairman Rui Pedro Soares said: “I hope this will happen. This is the only way to start cleaning up this dark page. There is also a need to ensure the conditions so that this does not happen. will happen again. “

Portugal’s Health Secretary Graca Freitas announced on Monday that 13 cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant are among Belenenses players and staff, and that one of these players had recently returned from South Africa. The diagnoses were made after the Lisbon club played Saturday’s game.

Also on Monday, the Portuguese league asked why the nine Belenenses players who were available for the game against Benfica were not considered high-risk contacts by health authorities but the Portuguese health authorities (DGS) replied that it was not up to the health authorities to postpone the match.

The league claimed in a press release that their delegate suggested postponing the match to a pre-match meeting, but this possibility was rejected by the two club delegates.

However, Belenenses has threatened to take legal action against the league for the claim they see as “a lie”.

“The report is a lie, it is deeply outrageous,” said the supremo of Belenenses Soares. “This is wrong and we are going to file a criminal complaint.

“It is not in the power of Belenenses to ask for the postponement of the match. I had players with a variant that caused the oil to drop by 10%, stocks fell. A third of the cases of the new variant in Europe are ours. “

Benfica said in a statement that he “deeply regrets having been involved, without any responsibility, in one of the saddest episodes in the history of Portuguese football. authorities.”

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