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. "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 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.
RTP showed an image of bloody wounds to the head of Sporting's Dutch striker Bas Dost and of a changing room that had been trashed.
"Sporting is not this, Sporting can not be this", the club statement added.
"This is not and can not be Sporting", it added.
"We will make every effort to establish the full responsibility for what has happened and we will not fail to demand punishment of those who acted in this absolutely pitiful way".
Players have this season been frequently criticised by chairman Bruno do Carvalho, who at one stage suspended 19 of them.