The players and staff of Liga Nos side Aves were forced to make alternative travel arrangements to the stadium for their clash against Benfica after the keys to the team bus were not to be found.
Despite the best efforts of the club, there was no alternative found with the keys missing since Sunday. The players eventually made their way to their home stadium Estádio do CD das Aves for their fixture against second-placed Benfica.
Aves, who have already been relegated from the league, had a tough outing against Benfica who opened the scoring in the fourth minute itself through Rafa Silva. The side added three second-half goals to put the game to bed.
Aves players must drive their own cars to tonight's match. The keys to the bus is lost. https://t.co/NFrR1BQvtG
— PortugueseSoccer.com ⚽️ (@PsoccerCOM) July 21, 2020
C.D Aves’ tragic descent
The club were relegated with 5 fixtures left and are riddled with financial issues. Eight players have left the club so far since April due to overdue wages.
The situation of the club is so dire that Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes reportedly called the club captain Afonso Figueiredo to ask how he could help.
Goalkeeper Raphael Aflalo, the latest player to leave the club terminated his contract due to three months of overdue wages.
“Unfortunately, I had to make the decision to terminate a contract, because I have not received my salary for three months. This is not the first time that this situation has happened. My wife is pregnant and I had no other option, because we did not agree with the attitude of the management.”
“I would like to thank the CD Aves for the time I wore this shirt. It was the club that opened my doors here in Europe and in the I Liga. I also thank the fans, who always supported the team when we entered the field. My support for the club will be eternal concluded the winner of the League and the Revelation Cup.”
The other players to who have departed the club over similar grounds are Bernardeau, Wellinton Jr, Buatu, Tshibola, Estrela, Pedro Delgado and Kevin Yamga.
The fixture against Benfica was in serious doubt and it ultimately needed the intervention of the club officials and the league to make it happen. Here is what the president of the league had to say:
‘I think that I was able, together with the League and a little more openness from SAD, to create conditions for the game to take place. I had to assume some financial responsibilities, but everything is worth it. I am here to defend the owners of Aves, who are the members, and I have managed to create conditions for the club to finish the championship with dignity.”
Several fans gathered outside the stadium after the team’s loss to Benfica as they brace for their lives in the second division.