The English Football Association has suspended former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo two games with a fine for slapping a fan’s phone out of his hand after a game in April.
The FA released a statement on Wednesday after having an “independent Regulatory Commission” do an investigation into the incident.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for two matches, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for a breach of FA Rule E3,” the statement reads.
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“The Regulatory Commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions.”
The FA also noted that Ronaldo also believed his actions following the April 9 game against Everton FC was “improper.”
The 37-year-old Portuguese superstar knocked the phone out of a young fan’s hand because he thought the fan was filming his bloody leg, which was injured in the disappointing loss. He claimed it was an act of safety.
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But the suspension clearly says otherwise and Ronaldo admitted to his actions being wrong.
Ronaldo publicly apologized via Instagram to the fan after the 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 a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship,” he wrote.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.”
Just before Ronaldo’s Portugal begins their 2022 FIFA World Cup journey in Qatar on Thursday, Manchester United announced Tuesday that both parties have parted ways, which comes after a controversial interview with Piers Morgan where the six-time Ballon d’Or Award winner criticized Manchester United, saying he felt “betrayed” as senior officials allegedly were trying to force him out of the building. He also mentioned having “no respect” for head coach Erik ten Hag.
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Now, Ronaldo’s focus is on his national team in what could be his last World Cup.
“The pressure is more or less the same as always,” Ronaldo said about his Portugal team. “I have been dealing with it since a very young age. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes I don’t. It depends on the situation, moment and heat. I am not perfect, but I feel ready to take on the pressure when I have to.”
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A team interested in picking up Ronaldo – and there should be a few – will have to account for that suspension when bringing him into the building.