Former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for two matches and fined by England’s Football Association for slapping a fan’s phone after a game in April.
The FA issued a statement on Wednesday after having an “independent regulatory commission” investigate the incident.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for two matches, fined £50,000 and warned against his future conduct for breaching the FA’s E3 rule,” the statement read.
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“The Regulatory Commission found at a subsequent hearing that his conduct was both inappropriate and violent and imposed these sanctions.”
The FA also stated that Ronaldo also believed that his actions after the game against Everton FC on 9 April were “inappropriate”.
The 37-year-old Portuguese superstar knocked the phone out of a young fan’s hand because he thought the fan was taking pictures of his bloody leg, which was injured in a disappointing performance. He claimed it was a safety precaution.
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But the ban clearly says otherwise, and Ronaldo admitted his actions were wrong.
Ronaldo publicly apologized to a fan on Instagram after a video of the incident went viral.
“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch the game at Old Trafford as a show of fair play and sportsmanship,” he wrote.
“It is never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments like we are facing. Nevertheless, we must always be respectful, patient and set an example for all young people who love the beautiful game.”
Just before Ronaldo’s Portugal begin their 2022 FIFA World Cup tour in Qatar on Thursday, Manchester United announced on Tuesday that the two sides have parted ways, following a controversial interview with Piers Morgan in which the six-time Ballon d’Or winner criticized Manchester. United said he felt “betrayed” when senior officials tried to force him out of the building. He also mentioned that he has “no respect” for head coach Erik ten Hag.
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Now Ronaldo is focusing on his national team, which could be his last World Cup.
“The pressure is pretty much the same as always,” Ronaldo said of playing with his Portugal team. “I’ve dealt with it from a very young age. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes I don’t. It depends on the situation, the moment and the heat. I’m not perfect, but I feel ready to take the pressure when I have to.”
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Any team interested in signing Ronaldo – and there should be a few – will have to take this suspension into account when bringing him into their building.