Liga Portugal says Belenenses SAD and Benfica didn’t want to postpone the game and that it complied with “all the rules”
After having held an emergency meeting, this Monday afternoon, the Portuguese League issued a statement, in which it states that Belenenses SAD and Benfica did not want to postpone the game and that it complied with “all applicable regulatory standards”.
At a meeting where the leadership of Liga Portugal analyzed “the facts relating to the match between Belenenses SAD and SL Benfica teams held on Saturday night at Jamor stadium” and “expressed its enormous dismay at the extremely negative image that happened. national football “, begins by saying the statement of the body that regulates the main championship of Portuguese football.
For members of the administration, what happened at Jamor called into question the “image of professionalism and quality of Professional Football”, which “imposes a rigorous analysis of the facts, followed immediately by the adoption of measures”, stressed the Liga Portugal.
The management of Liga Portugal decided to develop a working group “as a matter of urgency” to present a proposal for “revision of the relevant rules of the Regulation of Competitions organized by Liga Portugal (RC), in order to strengthen the mechanisms available to the Management for act in matters of postponement of games”.
In a statement, the responsible agency gave its version of what happened. Read here in full.
“1 – On Friday, the 26th, at 6:23 pm, the Executive Director of Liga Portugal called the President of Belenenses SAD to report on the existence of positive cases and informing that she was in contact with the health authorities, who would later decree , 53 minutes later, through the local Health Delegate, the isolation of 10 positive cases.
Later information revealed the prophylactic isolation of 30 players (of which 17 were negative) – in this scenario there would be eight players available, of which two would be unsuitable for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, the club not having the seven elements provided for the achievement to do so. the game.
Later, at 12:10 pm, the President of Belenenses SAD, despite knowing the number of players available (six athletes), reinforced, in a press conference, his intention to present a game and not request a postponement.
At 19:17, the Health Delegate removed three players from isolation, Belenenses SAD having nine players available, a fact only officially known when the game sheet was released.
Immediately before the preparatory meeting for the game, the Portugal League Delegate questioned the clubs’ Game Delegates about the possibility of a postponement, having both stated that this hypothesis did not apply;
2 – In view of this factual framework and the doubts it raises, the Executive Board of Liga Portugal decided to proceed with a disciplinary participation to the Disciplinary Board of the FPF, for the calculation of compensations regarding compliance with the applicable health protocols;
3 – Liga Portugal urgently requested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health, Secretary of State for Youth and Sports and the General Directorate of Health, to analyze the current situation and anticipate changes in procedures;
4 – Accepting that the suspicion of the existence of the Ómicron strain in the Belenenses SAD herd, now confirmed through preliminary analyzes carried out by the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), could justify the non-applicability of the protocol in force for the definition of contacts of high risk in negative cases, Liga Portugal questions the criteria that led the Health Delegate not to consider the nine available players as high risk contacts, and some of them had, evidently, direct contact in the previous game with positive elements.
Liga Portugal also questions whether, throughout this process, all sports agents present at the Jamor stadium not surveyed have been informed of this fact and of the risks associated with it (prior to the game) and to the health authorities, which were the criteria followed to release three players within an hour of the start of the match;
In light of the above, it is clear that Liga Portugal complied with all applicable regulatory standards, and it is not responsible for intervening in the scope of public health issues;
5 – It was understood by the League’s Management that the Regulatory Working Group for the Preparation, as a matter of urgency, proposed a revision of the relevant rules of the Regulation of Competitions organized by Liga Portugal (RC), in order to strengthen the mechanisms available to the Management to act in matters of postponement of games.
6 – Liga Portugal reiterates the urgency of a meeting with the health authorities, awaiting the response to the request made on Sunday morning”.