Luis Filipe Vieira and his family received death threats after Benfica was knocked out of the Europa League by Arsenal.
Benfica’s president of almost 17 years, Luis Filipe Vieira, was re-elected last October with over 62% of the votes. Vieira won over most of the fans’ trust with the signings of Jan Vertonghen and Darwin Nunez and a promise of a bigger presence in Europe.
However, the club’s recent results in the Portuguese league left them 15 points away from local rivals Sporting. In fact, Benfica currently hold 4th place in the league and are going through one of their worst spells of the century. Although fans were already upset with Vieira’s leadership, things escalated even further with the club’s exit from European competitions.
“I was sure that a change was needed,” former Benfica player Isaias recently told us on an exclusive interview. “The supporters are now suffering first hand the consequences of their refusal to change.”
Nevertheless, protests reached an unacceptable level this Saturday. Some supporters decided to put up strong messages in the gates outside Estadio da Luz. In the banners, fans threatened to kill Vieira and his family if he fails to resign from the presidency. In fact, the poster signs clearly stated: “Vieira, resign or we’ll kill you”. Additionally, another banner read: “Death to the Vieira family.”
Benfica are yet to officially react to the latest events as Jorge Jesus’ team prepares to face Rio Ave on Monday. In fact, some fans questioned why the banners had been put up inside of the gates. The supporters claimed the president was attempting to look like the victim since the former banners had displayed no death threats.