After a South African player returns from South Africa, 13 Omicron Covid cases are brought to the attention of a Portuguese football team. They were forced to form a nine-man team and play a 7-0 match against Benfica.

  • Belenenses faced Benfica Saturday night with nine men, as the rest of their team was in isolated with Covid.
  • After halftime, only seven of the players returned before one was hurt.
  • The game was called off after 47 minutes. Benfica led 7-0. Both sides blamed the league bosses, and officials from health for not allowing them to delay it.
  • Belenenses has confirmed 13 Omicron Covid cases

Portugal has confirmed 13 Omicron Covid supervariants in Portugal. All of these cases are linked to football teams whose members were away on international duty.

The infections were confirmed at Lisbon club Belenenses on Monday, coming after defender Cafu Phete returned from playing with the South African national team and tested positive for the virus. 

On Saturday, Belenenses faced Benfica in a match with only nine players. The rest of the team was isolated. After half-time, only seven players returned to the field before one went down with injuries.

Belenenses took to the field against Benfica on Saturday with just nine men because the rest were in isolation with suspected Covid

Belenenses went on the field Saturday against Benfica with only nine players, as the rest of the team were surrounded by Covid suspects.

Just two minutes into second period, the match was called off with Benfica leading 7-1. The match was allowed to continue despite both teams blaming the league bosses as well as Portuguese health officials.

Speaking on Monday, a Belenenses spokesman said most of the club is now isolating pending the results of Covid tests.

“We are all isolated except for the youth soccer team, 44 people live in isolation at home,” the spokesperson said.

“Two to three players, two or three staff members, and two or three other people have symptoms. But nothing serious. The rest of us are not symptomatic. He said that everyone is still waiting for the results to be repeated, once the health authority authorizes it.   

The game was abandoned after 47 minutes with Benfica leading 7-0 because only seven players returned after half-time, one of whom went down injured

After 47 minutes, the game was ended with Benfica leading 7-1.

Graca Freitas from Portugal, the health director general, said to the TSF radio station that Benfica players would also be tested.  

Portugal has joined a fast-growing list of countries which have confirmed Omicron cases. This is dubbed an “variant to concern” by WHO.

This is the most-mutated Covid form ever found, with mutations thought to make it more infectious even for those who have been vaccinated.

There are many unknowns about this mutant and whether or not they cause other serious diseases.

South African physician who discovered the variant for the first time has stated that her patients all had mild symptoms, and no need to be admitted.

America’s most renowned virologist Dr Anthony Fauci has stated that it would take at least two weeks for a clear picture to emerge about the effects of this variant. 

13 cases of the Omicron Covid variant have now been confirmed at Belenenses, with 44 players and staff currently in isolation

13 cases of the Omicron Covid variant have now been confirmed at Belenenses, with 44 players and staff currently in isolation