The Cidade do Futebol – or City of Football – is where the Portugal national team train
Football’s return after the break enforced by the coronavirus crisis was never going to be easy.
Now one Portuguese top-flight club have announced they will play their home games 892 miles away at the Portuguese Football Federation headquarters when matches resume.
Santa Clara, from the Azores, have been forced to make the move because of lockdown restrictions at their 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 undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Instead of teams travelling to the islands, the club will train and play its five remaining home games at the FA’s City of Football near Lisbon – a two-hour-25-minute flight away – because of the “need to safeguard the public health of the Azoreans”.
The Primeira Liga is due to resume on 4 June with Santa Clara ninth in the table.
“Wherever we play, we will always carry the Azorean people in our hearts and the Azorean flag to our chest, for a more positive Portuguese football,” the club said.
It has also been agreed a second top-flight club, Lisbon-based Belenenses, will play at the FA headquarters because of difficulties enforcing strict hygiene rules at their stadium.
Santa Clara usually play in Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores