The English Football Association has banned former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo for two matches and fined him for slapping a fan’s phone out of his hand after a match in April.
The FA issued a statement on Wednesday after asking an “independent Regulatory Commission” to investigate the incident.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for two matches, fined £50,000 and given a future conduct warning for breaching FA Regulation E3,” the statement read.
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“The Regulatory Commission found his conduct to be inappropriate and violent during a subsequent hearing and imposed these sanctions.”
The FA also noted that Ronaldo also believed his actions after the April 9 match against Everton FC 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 bloodied leg, which was injured in the disappointing loss. He claimed it was a safety act.
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But the suspension clearly says otherwise and Ronaldo admitted his actions were 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 fan to attend a match at Old Trafford as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship,” he wrote.
“It is never easy to deal with emotions in difficult times like the one we are facing. However, we must always respect, be patient and set an example for all the young people who love the beautiful game.”
Just before Ronaldo’s Portugal begin their 2022 World Cup trip to Qatar on Thursday, Manchester United announced on Tuesday that both sides have parted ways, which comes after a controversial interview with Piers Morgan in which the six times 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 stated that he has no respect for coach Erik ten Haag.
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Now, Ronaldo is focusing on his national team in what could be his last World Cup.
“The pressure is more or less the same as always,” Ronaldo said of playing with his Portugal team. “I’ve been at 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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A team interested in signing Ronaldo – and there should be quite a few – will have to account for that suspension when they bring him to their building.