The English Football Association has suspended and fined former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo for slapping a fan’s phone out of his hand after a match in April.
The FA issued a statement on Wednesday after an “independent Regulatory Commission” investigating the incident wrapped up its investigation.
The statement from the football association reads, “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 continues, “The Regulatory Commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions.”
The FA also stated that Ronaldo thought his actions after the April 9 game against Everton FC were “improper.”
The 37-year-old Portuguese superstar snatched a young fan’s phone because he thought the fan was filming his bloodied leg, which had been injured in the disappointing defeat. He claimed it was a precautionary measure.
However, the suspension clearly states otherwise, and Ronaldo admitted that his actions were incorrect. Ronaldo publicly apologized to the fan 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 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.”
Manchester United announced Tuesday that both parties have parted ways, just days before Ronaldo’s Portugal begins their 2022 FIFA World Cup journey in Qatar on Thursday.
This follows a contentious interview with Piers Morgan in which the six-time Ballon d’Or Award 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 head coach Erik ten Hag. But, Ronaldo’s focus is on playing for his country at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and of course, that may be his final World Cup.
“The pressure is more or less the same as always. 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,” Ronaldo said of playing with his Portugal team.