The English Football Association has suspended former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo for two matches and fined him for knocking the phone out of a fan’s hand after a match in April.
The FA released a statement on Wednesday after an “independent regulatory commission” carried out an investigation into the incident.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for two matches, fined £50,000 and given a future conduct warning for breaching FA rules E3,” the statement read.
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“During the subsequent hearing, the regulatory commission determined that his behavior was both inappropriate and violent, and imposed these sanctions.”
The FA also noted that Ronaldo also believes his actions after the game against Everton on April 9 were “inappropriate”.
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 defeat. He claimed it was an act of security.
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But the suspension clearly says otherwise and Ronaldo has admitted his actions were wrong.
Ronaldo publicly apologized to fans via Instagram 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 fan to watch the game at Old Trafford as a sign of fairness and sportsmanship,” he wrote.
“It is never easy to deal with emotions in difficult times such as the one we are facing. However, 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 journey to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Thursday, Manchester United announced on Tuesday that the two sides have parted ways, which comes after a controversial interview with Piers Morgan in which the six-time Ballon d’Or winner criticized Manchester United, saying he felt “betrayed” as senior officials allegedly tried to force him out of the building. He also mentioned that he has “no respect” for head coach Erik ten Hague.
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Now Ronaldo’s focus is on his national team at what could be his last World Cup.
“The pressure is more or less the same as always,” Ronaldo said of playing with his Portuguese team. “I’ve been dealing with it since I was little. Sometimes I do 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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A team interested in signing Ronaldo – and there should be several – will have to explain that suspension when they bring him into their building.