Benfica’s grapple with Belenenses was deserted amidst exceptional scenes after the Covid-hit Primeira Liga strugglers were imposed to name a team of just nine players – counting two goalkeepers.
The visitors earned seven goals by half-time, prior Belenenses returned with just seven players.
The match was then called off a minute into the second half as goalkeeper Joao Monteiro collapsed to the floor, forcing the referee to discard the game due to the minimum number of players not being on the ground.
Following a positive test in the crew earlier in the week, a total of 17 cases were reported to have been set down among players and staff.
In spite of the squad being annihilated, the match continued with just nine players selected and goalkeeper Monteiro functioning in midfield.
The Belenenses players released a joint statement ahead of the match, which stated: “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.”