Sporting CP president Bruno de Carvalho has potentially plunged his team into some trouble after suspending 19 first-team squad members.
Sporting CP president Bruno de Carvalho has potentially plunged his team into some trouble after suspending 19 first-team squad members, per ESPN.
De Carvalho took to Facebook to criticize the side after they lost 2-0 to Atletico Madrid in Europa League action on Thursday night, singling out certain players in his lengthy rant.
What I wanted to see: A focused team, with attitude and commitment, defensively and with goals. From 11 to 11 and become 22," he wrote on the social media site.
"What I saw: A team with attitude but with a defense that wasn't focused. 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."
The president called out several players in his statement, prompting a backlash from members of the squad, who reportedly refused to train on Friday. The club were later forced to deny such, but then 18 players went on to share an Instagram post, slamming the public criticism and citing "the absence of support from he who should be our leader."
De Carvalho, in turn, has since suspended 19 players, including the likes of Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Bruno Fernandes, Gelson Martins, Bryan Ruiz, Sebastian Coates and Fredy Montero, who are all important and high-profile players in the side.
"All the players who wrote the message cited below are suspended with immediate effect and will face disciplinary procedures," the president said in another Facebook post (now deleted).
"These spoiled children think they'll go far, but this time my patience has worn out for those who think they are above the club and any criticism."
By the looks of things, Sporting will face Paços de Ferreira with their B-team in Sunday's Primeira Liga clash.
They aren't likely to be caught in fourth place, having opened a 22-point gap between themselves and fifth-placed Rio Ave, yet there's still a chance to move up to a Champions League spot, with just five points separating them from second place.
De Carvalho may probably want to reconsider his decision when, and if, he calms down.