Durban — Bafana Bafana’s Thibang Phete is reported to be the source of the outbreak of Covid-19 within the first-team of Portuguese side Belenenses.
In a rare event, the Primeira Liga side was forced to field nine players in their home league game against Benfica after Phete’s positive test was followed by 17 others among the club’s players and staff.
Belenenses president Rui Pedro Soares said that Phete tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning to Portugal having been on international duty with Bafana Bafana.
According to the MTN FC report by Mark Gleeson, Belenenses attempted to have the game cancelled though against their wish, they had to play on and were forced to utilise goalkeeper Joao Monteiro in midfield.
Hats off to my brothers ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/6onUSy0hVB— Phete Thibang Cafu (@cafuphete22) November 28, 2021
After being 7-0 down at half-time, Belenenses returned to the second half with seven players. The match was abandoned two minutes into the second half after Monteiro could not carry on playing and Belenenses
Belenenses President Rui Pedro Soares criticised the league for making the game continue.
“We had eight players who could participate in the game and as such they told us that if we didn't attend the game it would be an unjustified absence. Playing here today was a shame for all of us,” said Soares.
Phete is one of two South African in the Belenenses squad. The other is midfielder Sphephelo Sithole.