The mother of the Everton fan who was the victim of Cristiano Ronaldo's 'phone slap' following Manchester United's game against the Toffees on Saturday has blasted the club, stating that their handling of the situation has "made things even worse".
The Portuguese remains at the centre of a furore after seeming to hit a mobile device out of a supporter's hand in the wake of the Red Devils' 1-0 defeat at the weekend, and though he has since sought to make overtures, the damage has already been done.
Now, Sarah Kelly, the parent of the boy in question, has roundly criticised both United and Ronaldo's conduct, and says that they have rebuffed any attempts at reconciliation as per her son's wishes.
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What has been said?
"United have handled it terribly and it's just made things even worse to be honest," Kelly told the Liverpool Echo. "The way I see it is, if someone assaulted him in the street and then asked us to go around for dinner, we wouldn’t.
"Just because he’s Cristiano Ronaldo, why would we do it? It’s like we owe him a favour, but I’m sorry, we don’t. We’ve kindly declined the offer to go to United because Jake doesn’t want to go there and he doesn’t want to see Ronaldo. He’s made that pretty clear.
"They're not my words, they’re my son’s words. At the end of the day, this is what it’s about. It’s affected him more than it’s affected me, so I have put everything to him to make his own mind up on - he doesn’t want to go to United, he doesn’t want to go to see Ronaldo. All that I’m saying right now is that it’s in the hands of the police."
The bigger picture
Dual investigations by both the FA and Merseyside Police remain underway into Ronaldo's conduct, raising the propsect that the forward could face charges.
It is the latest low point at United this season, though the club have been embroiled more in on-field failings than off-field trouble, with defeat to Everton effectively ending their distant hopes of a Champions League finish in the Premier League.
Since arriving to much fanfare at the start of the season, Ronaldo's homecoming has turned into something of a sour affair at United, with questions raised over whether he will remain for the second year of his contract or look to force an exit from Old Trafford.