Ronaldo banned after fan fracas
Free agent striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been issued a £50,000 ($60,100) fine and hit with a two-game ban for breaching FA rules when he slapped a mobile phone out of the hands of a young fan following Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Everton in April.
Ronaldo, who was also cautioned by Merseyside Police following the incident, offered an apology on social media shortly after he hit the wrist of young Everton supporter Jake Harding, who was attempting to take a photograph of the player as he exited the pitch following the game.
Harding’s mother claimed that Ronaldo's slap left her son with a visible bruise on his arm and left the young boy in “complete shock.”
Witnesses to the incident said that Ronaldo struck Harding “with force,” with another claiming that the outburst was entirely “unprovoked.”
The suspension issued to Ronaldo will not affect him during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual consent on Tuesday after both parties agreed to terminate his contract days after he delivered an explosive interview to UK TV host Piers Morgan in which he laid bare several complaints he had about Manchester United and the overall structure of the club.
In the interview, Ronaldo admitted to acting in an “improper” way in his treatment of the young football supporter.
He also claimed that his lashing out was “an instinctively proactive reaction” to having an object held out in front of him while he was attempted to enter the Goodison Park dressing room.
In a statement, the FA said: “The forward admitted that his conduct after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Manchester United FC and Everton FC on Saturday 9 April 2022 was improper.
“An independent Regulatory Commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions.”
The commission that recommended the suspension added that the boy and his phone “posed no actual or perceived threat” to the superstar footballer, and that he simply could have altered his walking path to avoid the encounter.
The suspension will apply to any new club Ronaldo joins following the termination of his Manchester United deal.