Chaotic scenes at Portuguese giants Sporting have seen 19 players suspended amid a war of words between the first-team squad and outspoken president Bruno de Carvalho.
According to reports in Portugal, the Primeira Liga side will be forced to field a B team against Pacos de Ferreira on Sunday as a result of a remarkable breakdown in professional relations.
Emotions have come to the boil in Lisbon in the wake of a 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of a Europa League quarter-final tie.
Carvalho was less than impressed by the efforts of his side in the Spanish capital and took to social media to air his displeasure – with certain individuals, such as Sebastian Coates, Jeremy Mathieu, Gelson Martins, Fabio Coentrao and Bas Dost, being singled out in a public domain.
A snippet of the Facebook post read: “Our 11 men should have doubled efforts on the pitch to become 22.
"Coates and Mathieu did what the Atletico forwards couldn't do on their own. Instead of 22 it was if we had nine players.”
Unsurprisingly, those in the firing line did not take too kindly to the comments and quickly offered a response of their own.
They said: “On behalf of the Sporting squad, through this joint statement, we express our disgust with our president’s public statements after yesterday’s game for which we did not achieve the result we desired."
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