Portuguese giants pull out of Pirelli showpiece friendlyDUE to circumstances beyond Burton Albion’s control, Benfica have pulled out of their scheduled pre-season friendly at the Pirelli Stadium which had been scheduled for Tuesday 21st July.
The Portuguese club received a late invitation to take part in the International Champions Cup event in North America and therefore could not fulfil their agreed UK pre-season fixtures with a first team squad.
Having signed a contract with Burton Albion, chairman Ben Robinson will be negotiating compensation for the Brewers.
He said: “We know this will be a disappoint for fans but Benfica have had to re-think their pre-season plans and the fixture at the Pirelli Stadium can no longer be accommodated.
“We still have some very attractive pre-season fixtures, including Gary Rowett’s return with his Birmingham City side and the ever-popular annual encounter with Derby County.
“With League One football coming to the Pirelli Stadium for the first time in August, we are sure our fans will enjoy the pre-season games we have planned as we look forward to an exciting year for Burton Albion.”
Brewers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink added: “As a team we were looking forward to playing Benfica but we move on with our plans and we will look to replace the fixture with another game as we prepare for League One football.”
International Champions Cup event organisers asked Benfica to step in at short notice to replace Porto (who pulled out last week), in this summer’s tournament which will be played in stadiums across North America.
Benfica will now play Paris Saint-Germain, Fiorentina, New York Red Bulls and Club América in Canada and the USA in July. Manchester United and Barcelona are also involved in the tournament.
Burton Albion’s pre-season fixtures are currently as follows;
1st July Gresley FC (A) 7.30pm
4th July Mickleover Sports (A) 3pm
18th July Wolves (H) 1pm
25th July Birmingham (H) 3pm
29th July Leicester City (H) 7.30pm
1st August Derby (H) 3pm