Luis Boa Morte was supposed to receive a gift from Sporting Lisbon during their clash with Arsenal last week, but fan reaction led to the tribute being cancelled.
During his playing days, Boa Morte spent time with both Sporting and Arsenal. First, he came through the youth system with the Portuguese side, before completing two seasons in North London. After his retirement, the Portuguese international took jobs coaching Sporting’s youth teams and scouting for Arsenal. Now he manages Sintrense.
With such strong links to both clubs, it made sense for Sporting and Arsenal to commemorate Boa Morte’s time with them in last week’s Europa League clash. The hosts organised a presentation where the former winger would receive a gift and interact with fans.
However, Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness) report that the event had to be cancelled after ‘pressure and threats from Sporting fans’.
The home supporters reportedly told the club they’d give their former player a hostile reception. Perhaps in part because his son plays for Benfica’s academy, and Boa Morte recently admitted to having some affection for Sporting’s rivals.
In the end, the former Gunner didn’t even attend the game. It’s a shame because he’s taken part in a number of Arsenal charity events recently, but he evidently doesn’t have the same good relationship with Sporting fans. Perhaps Arsenal will invite him along for the return fixture at the Emirates.