Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for one match after ‘obscene gesture’

Football Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for one match after appearing to make an obscene gesture during a match in Saudi Arabia.

 

Footage on social media appeared to show Ronaldo cupping his ear and repeatedly thrusting his hand forward near his pelvis.

 

The incident happened on Sunday, minutes after Ronaldo’s team al Nassr beat al Shabab 3-2 in the Saudi Pro League.

 

Ronaldo’s gesture appeared to be aimed at rival supporters, who could be heard charting “Messi” in reference to the 39-year-old’s long-standing rival.

 

The suspension was announced late on Wednesday night. Al Nassr’s next league game is on Thursday.

 

Ronaldo also has to pay a fine of 20,000 Saudi riyals (£4,210) and the decision is not open to an appeal, the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation said.

 

While the former Real Madrid player’s gesture wasn’t televised, footage shot by fans in the ground was shared on social media – and it didn’t take long for the footballer’s actions to be met with criticism.

Waleed al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, wrote on X:

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see.

“Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are.”

 

Ronaldo joined al Nassr as a free agent in late 2022 and this isn’t the first time his on-pitch actions have faced scrutiny in the ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia.

 

In April last year, he appeared to grab his genitals as he made his way to the dugout after his team lost a game.

 

At the Riyadh Season Cup final earlier this month, he put a rival team scarf in his shorts after it was thrown at him as he walked towards the tunnel.

Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia came shortly after an acrimonious split from Manchester United.

 

The forward’s salary at al Nassr has not been publicly confirmed but it is rumoured he is being paid upwards of £160m a year – making him the highest-paid footballer in history.

Sky Sports