By James Black
Rangers have been dealt a blow to their plans for the international break after Benfica withdrew from next week’s Eusebio Cup fixture without any explanation – leaving fans angry that some will have been left seriously out of pocket by the decision.
The sides has reached an agreement to meet in Hamilton in Canada on Friday night but the Glasgow giants released a statement confirming the clash had been cancelled and they were seeking an explanation from their Portuguese counterparts.
The Eusebio Cup began in 2008 in honour of Benfica and Portugal icon Eusebio and has seen the Portuguese giants take on sides like Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Mexican side Monterrey.
Benfica have lifted the trophy three times and this would have been the first time the cup had been contested away from the host’s Estádio de Luz in Lisbon.
Rangers fans have been quick to voice their displeasure on Twitter – although some have also taken the opportunity to light-heartedly claim the trophy by default.
Here are some of their comments:
I’m pretty confident more Rangers fans than Benfica fans have been affected by this. Disgraceful timing by Benfica.
— GF7Volunteers (@GF7Volunteers) October 1, 2017
Then if need be go and try sort it with benfica. Usual story though the fans take the hit in the pocket
— Del Esplin (@del_esplin) October 1, 2017
Game against benfica has been cancelled. Where does that leave fans who have already paid for travel and accommodation?
— Zahid Ul-Hassan (@zahid1980) September 30, 2017
Pretty pathetic from such a big club in Benfica, feel sorry for the fans who did book up
— John (@JohnMcIntosh19) September 30, 2017
Great 3-0 win over Benfica.
Eusebio Cup Champions 2017.
— Rangers Culture (@RangersCulture) September 30, 2017
If Benfica have withdrawn. Do rangers win the Eusebio cup by default? Yes! First trophy of season in the bag!
— Graeme Roberts (@RobertsTheGrey) September 30, 2017
Rangers are due to travel back to North America in January after it was confirmed they would take part in the Florida Cup with Colombian side Nacional and Brazilians Corinthians.
It’s unclear if Rangers have any plans to now organise an alternative fixture during the international break as they look to close the six-point gap to Celtic and Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership.