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Football in Portugal: Corona scandal in the Lisbon derby

2021-11-28T12:11:45.918Z

Belenenses has to play ninth in the city derby in Lisbon against Benfica after a corona outbreak. The outcry is huge - and not only from the club concerned.



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Valter Gouveia / NurPhoto / IMAGO

Rui Pedro Soares trotted across the square weeping.

The club president of Belenenses Lisbon was the symbol of a football farce, which is not common even in Corona times.

In a corona outbreak, 17 team members from Belenenses, including 14 players and head coach Filipe Candido, were infected.

Nevertheless, the suburban club had to play the city derby against Benfica with the former Dortmund player Julian Weigl on Saturday evening - with only nine players in the »starting eleven«, including two goalkeepers.

Substitute goalkeeper Joao Monteiro had to play as an outfield player.

In the second half, when the score was 0: 7, only seven professionals competed.

When Monteiro sat down "injured" on the lawn, the unequal game was called off by the referee in the 48th minute in accordance with the statutes.

The angry fans shouted: "The league is a shame!"

Benfica boss Rui Costa: "Dark chapter for Portuguese football"

Belenenses President Soares used the same word.

His team was "forced" to play, he complained.

The league had informed the club that it had enough professionals available and that a failure to appear could be viewed as an "unjustified absence".

The association countered that there had been no official request for the transfer.

Nevertheless: the outcry was huge.

Benfica boss Rui Costa spoke of a "dark chapter for Portuguese football".

Joaquim Evangelista, president of the players' union, rumbled: "What happened tonight is absolutely unacceptable."

The other big clubs were also sharply criticized.

Sporting sees the reputation of Portuguese football, which has already been battered by allegations of tax fraud and money laundering, "seriously damaged".

FC Porto attacked Joao Paulo Rebelo, State Secretary for Youth and Sport, as "one of the most incompetent politicians in history".

Several Belenenses players shared a black and white team photo on Instagram.

"Football only has color when there is a competition," they wrote in the style of an obituary notice, "today football has lost its color."

ara / sid

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-11-28

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