Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly been banned from making his debut for his Saudi Arabian side, tomorrow night.
His new club Al-Nassr, who are said to be paying him £175 million a year, have sold all 28,000 seats for the match against Al Ta’ee and were set to see him start playing for the club.
However, Ronaldo who left Manchester United in acrimony, is still to be punished for a misdemeanour and has been told he is barred from starring for Al Nassr, a source revealed.
Ronaldo was hit with a £50,000 fine and suspended for two games by the England Football Association on November 17th.
He was found guilty of improper and violent conduct after he smashed an Everton fan’s phone from his hand after United lost a match at Goodison Park last April.
He slapped the hand of Jacob Harding as he stormed down the tunnel, damaging the boy’s phone. His mother Sarah Kelly said her son’s hand was also bruised by Ronaldo.
While the investigation was ongoing last month, it was reported that Ronaldo would accept an improper conduct charge from the FA, but was determined to fight the threat of a potential ban.
The Independent FA panel was chaired by Christopher Quinlan KC and it found Ronaldo guilty of ‘a deliberate and forceful slap down’ which was ‘a petulant act.’
Ronaldo told the hearing via an electronic submission that the atmosphere at the Everton game had been ‘feverish’ and hostile.
He said he was injured by a heavy tackle late in the match but remained on the pitch. The United players left the pitch by way of a walkway which was not the regular players’ tunnel, he said.
Ronaldo said the crowd was aggressive and he and other United players were abused by Everton supporters/followers as they left the pitch.
The striker said that as he walked along the walkway, he caught sight of an arm quite low in front of him pointing towards his injured leg.
He said he could not see to whom the arm belonged but could see it was ‘holding an object’ but he did not know what.
He said his instinctive reaction was to slap ‘the object away’ adding the incident was ‘an instinctively proactive reaction’.
He said that it was not a premeditated action nor did he intend even momentarily to hurt anyone or anything. He later found out that the spectator holding the object was a teenage boy and he said he contacted the boy’s mother to apologise.
But the panel rejected Ronaldo’s claim that he had been concerned for his own physical safety and well-being as leaving the field of play.
It stated: ‘it is clear to us that the spectator posed no actual or perceived threat to the player. The player could simply have walked round him or ignored him. He was walking slowly and calmly, as were the other players. Nobody appeared to act as if under threat. It was an atmosphere he would not be unfamiliar with.
‘Instead, he moved his shin guard from his left to right hand and slapped down hard upon the spectator’s hand. We have little doubt this was an act born of frustration and annoyance rather than fear or concern for his well- being.’
Ronaldo, the source said, had not been available for two first team competitive matches as his contract with United had been torn up.
The ban carries onto his next club and effectively bars Al Nassr from parading its new star striker until it has played two competitive matches that he would have been available for.
Article 12.1 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players says: ‘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.’
They had said: ‘We note the Player has participated in a recently published interview in which he has criticised MUFC. We know not what effect that may nor will have on his future with that club nor whether it will take disciplinary action in respect thereof. The suspension we have imposed must have effect.
‘In other words, it applies to MUFC’s first team competitive matches for which he is eligible for selection. 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.’
‘That applies with the Premier League and by virtue of Article 12.1 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, beyond: “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.
‘When issuing the ITC, the former association shall notify the new association via TMS of any such disciplinary sanction that has yet to be (entirely) served.’
After tomorrow’s match which he will miss, Al Nassr do not play again until Saturday 14 January in a derby against Al-Shabab.