Dost injured by hooded training ground attackers

Sporting Lisbon's Training Session Was Allegedly Disrupted By Masked Intruders

Sporting Lisbon failed to qualify for the Champions League following a 2-1 defeat at Maritimo, allowing their bitter rivals Benfica to leapfrog them into second place.

The league also condemned in a statement "the violent acts the players and coaching staff of Sporting Lisbon were subject to today". Tuesday's events were hardly ideal preparation for their upcoming Portuguese Cup final against Aves on Sunday evening.

"But because the Cup final is a celebration of Portuguese football, and also out of respect to our club, we will play in the final".

The horrific incident left Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa "worried by the image this projects of Portugal to the world".

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said "this increase in violence is intolerable".

Sporting's Dutch worldwide Bas Dost, the club's top scorer this season, required stitches to his neck.

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Portuguese police have made 23 arrests, according to the government.

According to the local media, cited by Sport.es, around 50 hooded intruders carrying torches attacked the players, with belts and iron elements at the Sporting Academia training base.

"The Juventude Leonina numbers more than 7,000 fans".

"We cannot in any way agree with acts of vandalism and aggression to athletes, coaches and staff, nor with attitudes that configure the practice of crime that in no way honour and ennoble Sporting. The perpetrators of these incidents are not fans of football, they are criminals".

Fans on Twitter also sent their support. Hooligans who follow the club now have directed their anger at the team in one of the worst imaginable ways.

Club president Bruno de Carvalho last month threatened to suspend almost the entire first-team squad after becoming involved in a public spat with the players over their performance in a Europa League match against Atletico Madrid.

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