Sporting CP suspends entire first-team squad after feud with team president
Things are getting really, really heated in Lisbon.
According to reports across Portugal, Sporting CP will be forced to play its B team after the first team squad became embroiled in a feud with outspoken team president Bruno de Carvalho.
Following the club’s Europa League quarterfinal first-leg loss to Atletico Madrid on Thursday, Carvalho roasted the squad via Facebook, putting players like Fabio Coentrao, Gelson Martins, Fredy Montero, and Bas Dost on blast for things like missing chances and getting yellow cards.
It was an absolutely ruthless post, one that claimed the team “wasn’t focused” and that the 11 players “played like 9 many times."Seeing bad errors by international and experienced players adds more to the suffering [of the defeat],” he claimed.
Needless to say, the squad didn’t take kindly to being called out publicly by members of the front office. The reports state the players first hoped to confront Carvalho personally at training the next day, but he never showed. Feeling like they had to save face, the players took to Instagram on Portuguese international goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s page - also posted to Coentrao’s account - to make a statement saying they are united as a squad and expressed “disgust” with Carvalho’s comments.
“On behalf of the SCP 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,” the statement reads. “The lack of support at this moment from the one who is supposed to be our leader, pointing the finger to publicly blame an athlete’s performance when a group is ruled by its combined effort.”
Well, it didn’t end there. Carvalho called the players “spoiled boys” has threatened to suspend every player on the first team for replying to his comments, in a since-deleted post on his Facebook account. And according to reports, Carvalho is planning on carrying out his threat, with Sporting planning to play its reserve squad against 14th placed Pacos Ferreira on Sunday.
This is not the first time Carvalho has publicly criticized his players. Just two weeks ago after former Porto striker Andre Silva said he didn’t get along with Carvalho, the president responded by painting Silva as ungrateful.
Sporting sits third in the Primira Liga table, five points back of second-placed Porto and six behind leaders Benfica. They are just a single point above fourth-placed Braga.