Bafana’s Thibang Phete’s Portuguese Covid-hit club have match postponed
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Lisbon — The upcoming match between Covid-hit Belenenses and Vizela has been postponed as the former club lacks the minimum number of players, the Portuguese football league said Friday.
Belenenses had asked for their Monday match to be postponed after last weekend's game with Benfica was called off when they were reduced to just six players.
The league concurred, saying the game against Vizela had been rescheduled for January 2.
Belenenses started with only nine players, including two goalkeepers, against Benfica. They trailed 7-0 at half-time, with the match stopped three minutes into the second half after three players suffered injuries.
Around 20 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected at the club, the first in Portugal of the new coronavirus strain according to the country's national health institute (INSA).
The squad and coaching staff have since been put into isolation, meaning the club fall short of having a minimum number of players available for Monday.
Belenenses president Rui Pedro Soares blamed the outbreak on Bafana Bafana defender Thibang Phete, who tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning to Portugal having been on international duty.