Sporting Lisbon players and staff attacked by intruders at training ground

Clay Curtis
May 17, 2018

"We can not in any form be associated with acts of vandalism and aggression toward players, coaches and staff of the professional football department, nor with attitudes which constitute the practice of a crime".

Sporting Lisbon have confirmed that a number of its players and staff were assaulted by a group of fans who forced their way into the club's training ground on Tuesday.

"The perpetrators of these incidents are not fans of football, they are criminals", the league said in a statement.

Dutch forward Bas Dost, who has scored 34 goals for the club this season, reportedly suffered cuts to his head in the attack. Tuesday's events were hardly ideal preparation for their upcoming Portuguese Cup final against Aves on Sunday evening.

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Supporters, many of whom were armed with sticks and belts, congregated at Academia Sporting - apparently angry at the side's failure to qualify for the Champions League on the final day of the season. The assaulters also attacked head coach Jorge Jesus, the team's goalkeeper Rui Patrício, and William Carvalho.

It is also being reported that the intruders covered their faces so that they couldn't be identified and trashed one of the changing rooms.

"Sporting vehemently condemned the events registered today at the Sporting Academy", the club said in a statement. This is not and can not be Sporting.

Club president Bruno de Carvalho last month threatened to suspend almost the entire first-team squad after becoming involved in a public spat with the players over their performance in a Europa League match against Atletico Madrid.

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