Sporting Lisbon footballers and staff attacked by gang of thugs

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FC Sporting Lisbon has condemned the brutal assault at their players and staff after dozens of people with covered faces attacked a training center in the Portuguese capital's suburb, where the team was practicing ahead of the Portuguese Cup final against Alves.

"Sporting is not this, Sporting can not be this", the club statement added.

Sporting Lisbon's players and management were hospitalized after about 50 masked intruders attacked the club's training after the team failed to secure a place in the Champions League.

Sporting Lisbon footballers and staff attacked by gang of thugs
Sporting Lisbon footballers and staff attacked by gang of thugs

"It was a distressing situation and we are all shocked", the striker told Dutch news website Algemeen Dagblad.

The alleged incident took place just two days after a 2-1 defeat to Maritimo, a result that meant Sporting missed out on a Champions League place to Benfica.

Argentina global Marcos Acuna and Croatia's Josip Misic were also assaulted in the raid on Sporting's Alcochete training base in the Lisbon suburbs.

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The team are meeting their player's union on Wednesday to discuss their reaction which according to domestic media could see them refuse to play in Sunday's Cup final against Desportivo das Aves.

Portuguese police have made 23 arrests, according to the government.

Sporting issued a statement condemning what it calls "acts of vandalism and the attacks on (our) athletes, coaches and professional staff".

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

Fans on Twitter also sent their support.

In April, De Carvalho claimed he was suspending 19 of the first-team players following their Europa League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid, although he later appeared to back down.

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