For smashing autistic boy’s phone, Man United superstar Ronaldo’s now charged for violent conduct

For smashing autistic boy’s phone, Man United superstar Ronaldo’s now charged for violent conduct


Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with breaching FA rules after he smashed an autistic boy’s phone to the ground. The Man United forward appeared to slap young Jacob Harding’s hand after his side were defeated by Everton at Goodison Park in April.

Ronaldo later apologised to the 14-year-old but was interviewed by police under caution in relation to an alleged assault and criminal damage last month. Merseyside Police confirmed the matter had been dealt with by “matter of conditional caution”.

But in an update today, the FA has decided to probe the incident. A spokesperson confirmed today: “Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 for an incident that took place after Manchester United FC’s Premier League match against Everton on Saturday April 9, 2022. It is alleged that the forward’s conduct after the final whistle was improper and/or violent.”

Ronaldo knocked the phone from Jacob’s hand after losing to 1-0 to Everton. The FA Rule E3 states “a participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game”. It adds they shall not act “in any manner, which is improper or brings the game into disrepute”.

They should also not use “any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour”.

Jacob’s mum, Sarah Kelly, spoke out about the incident at the time, telling how Ronaldo had phoned her to apologise. She said she wanted to see justice “because there hasn’t been any”.

And her son Jacob said, “I looked up to him but he didn’t set an example that day.”

In a post online after the incident, Ronaldo said, “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game. I would like to apologise 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.”

Responding to the FA charge today, a spokesperson for Manchester United said: “We note the FA announcement in relation to Cristiano Ronaldo. We will be supporting the player in his response to the charge.”

  • An Agencies report
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