Cristiano Ronaldo has been handed a two-match ban for smashing a fan’s phone during a Premier League match last season.
Following a 1-0 loss at Everton in April, Ronaldo was leaving the pitch and entering the tunnel when he spotted a 14-year-old spectator who seemed to be recording him with a cellphone.
Ronaldo, who was limping after suffering a leg injury during the match, then smacked the phone out of the teenager’s hand before walking away. That loss was tough for United as the Red Devils were trying to finish the season in the top four, and Everton was in danger of relegation.
The FA released a statement on Wednesday after having an “independent Regulatory Commission” do an investigation into the incident.
The ban, even though the FA handed it out, will apply to any country governed by FIFA regulations. Ronaldo was also fined £50,000, which is around $60,265.
“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.
“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,” reads the statement.
“An independent Regulatory Commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions.”
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.
The document released by the FA says the teenager’s mother reported being “disgusted and shocked.” Ronaldo’s personal assistant soon reached out to the family.
“He wanted to sort this out of the media and courts,” reads the mother’s statement on the report.