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17 Aug, 2022 16:01

Police action against Ronaldo revealed after child fan incident (VIDEO)

Ronaldo was involved in an altercation with an autistic child in April
Police action against Ronaldo revealed after child fan incident (VIDEO)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been officially cautioned by police several months after an incident in which he smashed a phone out of an autistic boy's hand as he left the Goodison Park pitch following Manchester United's 1-0 away defeat against Everton in April. 

The Portuguese appeared to take issue with the youngster attempting to take a photograph of him as he exited the pitch, with video footage showing the 37-year-old star slapping the child's wrist.

Ronaldo was subsequently questioned by police earlier this month under caution related to an alleged assault and criminal damage, during which 14-year-old Jacob Harding's phone was broken. It was also reported that the fan sustained a minor injury to his wrist.

And in a statement issued by Merseyside police on Wednesday, they confirmed that a man fitting Ronaldo's description was interviewed under caution.

We can confirm that a 37-year-old man voluntarily attended and was interviewed under caution in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage,” they said.

The allegation relates to an incident following the Everton v Manchester United football match at Goodison Park on Saturday 9 April.

The matter has been dealt with by way of conditional caution. The matter has now concluded.”

It is understood that Ronaldo has agreed to pay a financial settlement to the Harding family due to his role in the incident.

Sarah Kelly, the mother of the victim, told the media that her son, while an Everton supporter, was also a keen fan of Ronaldo and that the fracas ruined what was an otherwise enjoyable occasion.

At full-time the United players started walking off,” she said. “We were right by the tunnel - my son was there, videoing them all. Ronaldo then just walked past, with a terrible, terrible temper, and smashed the phone out of his hand.

You can see by the bruise that he’s made contact. I was crying, I was shook up, Jacob was in complete shock - he’s autistic and he’s got dyspraxia as well, so he didn’t really digest what was happening until he’s come home. He’s really upset and it’s put him off going to the game again. We had an absolutely brilliant day up until those final few seconds.

He’s an idol. Yes, he’s not from Everton, but Ronaldo’s a big player.

My son’s always been like ‘Ronaldo’s going to be there’ - he’s an icon. I’d understand if Jake was waving it in his face, but he wasn’t. He’s an autistic boy and he’s been assaulted by a football player, that’s how I see it as a mum.”

Ronaldo referenced the incident on social media shortly thereafter, and said that he would like to make amends in the name of "fair-play and sportsmanship".

It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” he wrote on Instagram. “Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.

I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.

This offer, though, was rejected by Jacob and his family.

The way I see it is, if someone assaulted him in the street and then asked us to go around for dinner, we wouldn’t. Just because he’s Cristiano Ronaldo, why would we do it?” she said.

It’s like we owe him a favor but I’m sorry, we don’t. It’s in the hands of the police.”

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