Santa Clara: Azores club forced to play home games 892 miles away at Portuguese FA


The Cidade do Futebol – or city of football – is the place where the national team of Portugal coaches

The return of football after the forced break from the coronavirus crisis has never been easy.

Now, a top Portuguese club has announced that it will play its home games 892 miles away at the headquarters of the Portuguese Football Federation when matches resume.

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Santa Clara of the Azores was forced to relocate due to the locking restrictions on her usual home.

Anyone arriving in the Azores, a group of small islands in the Atlantic Ocean 850 miles off the coast of mainland Portugal, must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Instead of teams going to the islands, the club will train and play its last five home games in the FA soccer city near Lisbon – two hours and 25 minutes by flight – in because of the "need to protect the public health of the Azorians".

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Primeira Liga is expected to resume on June 4 with Santa Clara ninth in the table.

"Wherever we play, we will always carry the people of the Azores in our hearts and the Azores flag against our chest, for more positive Portuguese football," the club said.

It was also agreed that a second high-level club, Lisbon-based Belenenses, would play at FA headquarters due to difficulties in enforcing strict hygiene rules at their stadium.

Santa Clara usually plays in Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores


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