Sporting Lisbon boss Jorge Jesus denies suspensions after president row

Sporting Lisbon players look dejected after defeat by Atletico Madrid
Sporting Lisbon were beaten 2-0 by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday

Sporting Lisbon boss Jorge Jesus has denied players were suspended and then refused to train following an argument with the club president.

After a 2-0 Europa League defeat by Atletico Madrid on Thursday, president Bruno de Carvalho criticised players for "stupid mistakes" on social media.

In reply, 19 first-team players signed a statement demanding "respect".

De Carvalho then called them "spoilt brats" and claimed to have suspended all 19 in a since deleted post.

At a news conference on Saturday, Jesus said "there was no suspension given to anyone" and that every player was available for Sunday's match against Pacos Ferreira.

"The players, president and coaching staff had a meeting, which will remain private within the team," he said.

"What is important was the liberty that I was given by the president to play players of my choosing."

On Friday, the club denied reports that players has refused to train in protest against De Carvalho's comments.

"There was never any refusal to practise from any player," added Jesus.

"Only back when I was a player did we refuse to practice because we weren't paid for seven months, that doesn't happen here."

Sporting Lisbon are fourth in the Primeira Liga, six points behind leaders Benfica and host Atletico in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.

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