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.
Public television RTP reported that around 50 intruders, who had covered their faces to not be identified, interrupted practice at Sporting's training center in Alcochete, about 20 kilometres south of Lisbon. PTJournal.com suggests Sporting players are considering boycotting the game, and they might have just cause to terminate their contracts with the team.
Sporting have since issued a statement to denounce the acts of the individuals involved in the attacks. Jorge Jesus, the team's head coach, goalkeeper Rui Patrício and midfielder William Carvalho were also targeted, according to reports from newspaper O Jogo.
A shocking story in Portugal as Sporting Lisbon's training session was reportedly disrupted by enraged "fans" that attacked players and staff on Tuesday afternoon. "We will take all steps to establish responsibility for what has happened, and we demand the punishment of those who have acted in this absolutely regrettable manner".
Sporting dramatically lost to Maratimo on Sunday, dropping it to third place in the final Liga NOS (Portuguese League) standings and costing the club a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.
"The perpetrators of these incidents are not fans of football, they are criminals", the league said in a statement.
Club president Bruno de Carvalho launched a social media tirade against several of his own players, calling them out by name, following a defeat last month.