Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for two matches and handed a £50,000 fine for hitting a mobile phone out of a fan’s hand after Manchester United’s game against Everton.
The 37-year-old, who is now a free agent following his United exit on Tuesday, was engaged in the altercation after a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park on April 9.
He was subsequently cautioned by Merseyside Police and charged by the Football Association with improper conduct.
An FA independent panel has now handed Ronaldo a suspension and fine — but that will transfer to his next club.
An FA statement read: “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 forward admitted that his conduct after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Manchester United FC and Everton FC on Saturday 9 April 2022 was improper.
“An independent Regulatory Commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions.”
The panel’s written reasons noted that Ronaldo told the FA that the atmosphere at the match had been “feverish” and claimed an “aggressive” crowd had subjected him and some of his teammates to abuse.
Ronaldo, who paid £200 in compensation to the 14-year-old boy over the phone, described his reaction as “instinctively proactive” and said he had acted in “concern for his own physical safety and well-being”.
While the player apologised for his “outburst” the FA said: “We have little doubt this was an act born(e) of frustration and annoyance rather than fear or concern for his well-being.”
Where will Ronaldo serve his ban?
Ronaldo will be free to play for Portugal at the World Cup but his suspension will apply to whichever club he next joins.
The Regulatory Commission, which noted Ronaldo “has participated in a recently published interview in which he has criticised MUFC,” said: “Should he leave MUFC before it completes two first team competitive matches, the balance of the suspension will apply to any new club he should join”.
It added, referring to Article 12.1 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players: “Any disciplinary sanction of up to four matches or up to three months that has been imposed on a player by the former association but not yet (entirely) served by the time of the transfer shall be enforced by the new association at which the player has been registered in order for the sanction to be served at domestic level.”
“In, for example rugby union, a suspension imposed at domestic level has international effect. That is not so in football. The player is therefore free to play in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, if selected.”
Ronaldo’s Portugal start their Group H campaign against Ghana on Thursday.
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