First 13 cases of the Omicron variant in Portugal believed to be Belenenses SAD players 7 months ago

First 13 cases of the Omicron variant in Portugal believed to be Belenenses SAD players

Belenenses SAD could only field seven players at the weekend

The first 13 cases of people infected with the new Omicron variant in Portugal are all believed to be Belenenses SAD players.

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It has been announced by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) this morning (29 November), following analysis that took place at the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), as per Portuguese outlet Observador.

The report adds that the samples in question are "associated with cases of infection of Belenenses SAD players, given that one of the positive cases will have had a recent trip to South Africa".

Cafu Phete had recently been in South Africa, where the new Omicron variant of the virus was first detected.

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According to the statement, the DGS revealed that the preliminary tests carried out at INSA "strongly" suggest that "all 13 cases associated with Belenenses SAD players are related to the Ómicron variant".

Health authorities in Portugal announced strict isolation rules for all contacts associated with the outbreak, "regardless of vaccination status and exposure level".

Belenenses could only field nine players, two of whom were goalkeepers, for Saturday's match with Benfica in their Primeira Liga clash. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
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The coronavirus cases meant that Belenenses could only field nine players, two of whom were goalkeepers, for Saturday's match with Benfica in their Primeira Liga clash, finding themselves 7-0 down at half-time.

B-Sad were without 13 of their first-team players after they tested positive for coronavirus, but club president Rui Pedro Soares confirmed earlier in the day that they had not asked Benfica to postpone the fixture.

Despite being 7-0 down at half-time, Belenenses did come out for the second period, but as soon as the second-half began, another player dropped to the floor, citing an injury.

As teams are required to have a a minimum of seven players on the pitch, the referee called a stop to the fixture.

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While it has not been confirmed whether Benfica will be awarded a 3-0 win, which is standard for a forfeited match, or take the full 7-0 scoreline, the league will meet this week in an emergency meeting to analyse what happened leading to the match.

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