Benfica friendly withdrawn after referee gets ‘knocked-down’ by captain Luisao
A friendly match between Portuguese giants Benfica and German side Fortuna Dussledorf was cancelled after Luisao apparently knocked referee Christian Fischer to the ground.
The incident happened at 38 minutes, in what was both teams’ final pre-season match ahead of their new respective campaigns at Espirit Arena, with the score still goalless.
Eagles’ player Javi Garcia tackled Oliver Fink and when the referee awarded free-kick and was preparing to show a yellow card to the Benfica man, Luisao approached him in disgust, before presumably forcing him to the ground with what seemed to be a bodycheck, as the referee fell on the ground, motionless for a few seconds.
After that, the referee stood up and called-off the friendly match.
Luisao, who made over 300 appearances for the Lisbon side, has already commented on the incident, claiming to be innocent and merely having protested the award of the free-kick.
“I was surprised. I did not make any move of aggression. I tried to be ahead of my colleagues and I saw the referee fall. I tried to talk to the assistants still on the pitch to explain my intention,” the defender is quoted as saying by Record.
The German side's president, Peter Frymuth, has threatened to report Benfica to the German federation and the European governing body, Uefa.