Manchester United players taking part in a training session during their pre-season tour of the Far East, were the victims of, what has been described by manager Sir Alice Ferguson as, an attack by Chinese Chelsea fans.
The fans, alleges Sir Alice, tried to deafen his players by "clapping loudly" and assaulted his stars by "slapping them on their backs roughly".
The team were posing and grooming their hair in front of 20,000 adoring, screaming fans in the Olympic Stadium in Guangzhou, when a group of about twenty 'troublemakers' broke through the cordon of police surrounding the playing surface and made for where the United players were standing.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese whinger, fell to the ground clutching his right knee and writhing in agony, despite the fact that he was already sitting in the dressing-room, having sloped off sulking ten minutes earlier.
Manager Ferguson told reporters:
"Cristiano's got a knock, and a couple of the others have bruised egos, but they should be fit for the start of the season."
Asked about the lack of security at the facility, the Scot said:
"It was shocking. It was obvious that they were Chelsea operatives attempting to sabotage our preparation for the defence of our title. They'll need to do better than that though. My players are made of sterner stuff - apart from Ronaldo, that is."