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Sporting Lisbon fans clash with police after first title win for 19 years

Sporting Lisbon clinched their first Portuguese league title since 2002 on Tuesday night but clashes between fan groups and police broke out around the stadium.

The club secured their first league title in 19 years – with rivals Benfica and FC Porto dominant in recent decades – thanks to a 1-0 win over Boavista at their Jose Alvalade stadium in the Portuguese capital.

However, some of the celebrations turned ugly as police used rubbers bullets on fans with glass bottles being thrown at police lines.

Thousands of fans had gathered in the streets surrounding the stadium to celebrate the occasion, with fireworks and flares being lit in the neighbourhood and central areas of Lisbon.

Fans celebrate inside a safety box as police watch on from the other side of the fence

Paulinho scored the only goal of the game – played, as all others have been this season, behind closed doors – in the 36th minute to secure the three points and the title for Ruben Amorim’s side.

With cars honking and joyous scenes across the city – including a new gathering in the central Marques do Pombal main square – some of the celebrations turned out of control.

Police spokesman Domingos Antunes had said ahead of the event that he hoped the celebration would not turn into a “nightmare”.

Fans soon broke free from the sectioned off area
Fans soon broke free from the sectioned off area

Sporting's title win sparked jubilant celebrations in the city
Sporting’s title win sparked jubilant celebrations in the city

Riot police who were deployed used rubber bullets and used their batons as a small group of fans broke down police barriers leading to the unfortunate scenes.

Multiple ambulances then attended the scene to take care of those who had sustained injuries during the incidents.

Sporting have now secured the league title ahead of their final day showdown away to fierce city rivals Benfica this weekend and if the visitors can avoid defeat, it will mean they complete a remarkable unbeaten league campaign.

One fan required assistance from paramedics after suffering injury
One fan required assistance from paramedics after suffering injury

Riot police patrolled the city as the celebrations soon turned out of control
Riot police patrolled the city as the celebrations soon turned out of control

This was Sporting’s 19th title in their history – 10 behind Porto and a whopping 18 behind Benfica, whose last title came in 2019.

Both rivals follow closely behind in the table but Sporting’s tally of 82 points is now too big for either side to catch.

Sporting’s season has been helped by the impressive scoring form of Pedro Gonçalves – the joint leading goalscorer in the division.




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