Cristiano Ronaldo suspended and fined for obscene gesture during a match in Saudi Arabia

(CNN) — The Portuguese and Al-Nassr star Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for one match and fined for “provoking” Al-Shabab fans during a Saudi Pro League match on Sunday.

The incident occurred after Al Nassr’s 3-2 win against Riyadh-based rivals Al-Shabab.

In footage of the match, Ronaldo can be seen holding his ears over his ears as he listens to the chants of anti-Al-Shabab fans. He then gestured towards the spectators in the stands with his hand towards his waist, while opposition fans could be heard chanting the name of his old rival Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo gestures towards Al-Shabab fans. (Yasser Baksh/Getty Images)

This Wednesday, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) said that the 39-year-old striker had violated Article (57-1) of the disciplinary and ethical regulations.

As a result, Ronaldo was suspended for one match and ordered to pay approximately US$2,666 (10,000 riyals) to SAFF and an additional US$5,333 (20,000 riyals) to Al-Shabab in filing fees.

The decision cannot be appealed, SAFF said.

CNN attempted to contact Ronaldo’s representative and Al-Nasser for comment.

Before the official announcement there was speculation as to whether the SAFF would take action against its biggest star.

Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, joins Al-Nassr following Manchester United’s difficult exit from the English Premier League at the end of 2022. He scored 14 goals in 16 league games last year and is the team’s top scorer. league with 22 goals in 20 matches during the current campaign.

The former Real Madrid and Juventus star became the biggest name to join the Saudi Pro League in January 2023, which saw an influx of European talent in the same summer.

“The Disciplinary Committee (SAFF) is facing its biggest test yet,” prominent Saudi journalist Waleed al-Faraj wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, before Ronaldo’s ban was announced. “We’ll wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how big a star is. These are the big leagues.”

Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot for Al-Nassr on Sunday, before Yannick Carrasco leveled things at 1-1 with his penalty before half-time following a challenge by Aymeric Laporte inside the area.

Al Nassr’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Saudi League match between Al-Shabab and Al-Nassr at Al-Shabab Club Stadium on February 25, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Al-Nassr took the lead a minute into the second half thanks to Anderson Talisca, but Al-Shabab equalized again, this time with Carlos Junior scoring from close range to make the score 2–2.

However, the final decision belonged to Ronaldo’s team as Talisca continued their double dominance in the match, winning 3–2.

Ronaldo will miss Al-Nassr’s match against Al-Hazem next Thursday due to his suspension.

(tags to translate)Cristiano Ronaldo

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