Sporting president says he will respect fan vote and quit

Sporting Lisbon fans frisked by police as they arrive at Saturday's AGM to vote for the crisis-club president's resignation
AFP

Lisbon (AFP) – Bruno de Carvalho, the president of crisis-ridden Sporting Lisbon, said that he will stand down after supporters voted that he should quit.

A general meeting attended by 9,400 members on Saturday voted overwhelmingly by 71% for the 46-year-old’s resignation. 

De Carvalho, who was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2017, has been blamed for the poisonous relationship with players which climaxed in an assault by masked and armed fans at the training ground in mid-May. 

He was suspended as president last week by a club committee but had refused to stand down. 

The club will be led by a provisional management committee until a new presidential election on September 8.

“I will not be a candidate,” De Carvalho said.

The crisis at the club began when Sporting lost a Europa League game to Atletico Madrid in April and De Carvalho tweeted ferocious criticism of the players.

When they responded demanding “respect”, he called the players “spoilt brats” and suspended 19 of them, only to back down ahead of the next match. 

Shortly before Sporting lost the Portuguese Cup final to unfancied Aves in May, a 50-strong mob of fans invaded the training centre, attacked the squad, savagely beating some players.

Nine players including Portugal internationals at the World Cup Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes and Gelson Martins have broken their deals with the club since the horrific attack.

And coach Jorge Jesus also quit the team. He has been replaced by former AC Milan and Torino boss Sinisa Mihajlovic.

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