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Cristiano Ronaldo 'phone slap' incident: What happened & will Man Utd star be punished?

16:55 BST 11/04/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Everton fan
The Portuguese forward allowed emotions to get the better of him when leaving the field after a Premier League defeat at Everton

Cristiano Ronaldo did not take kindly to figuring in another Manchester United defeat away at Everton, with the Portuguese superstar caught on camera appearing to slap a phone out of the hand of a Toffees supporter.

The incident in question occurred at the end of a 1-0 defeat for the Red Devils at Goodison Park in which a five-time Ballon d’Or drew a blank for the 11th time through 13 club outings in 2022.

So what exactly happened and will the Portuguese star be punished for his actions? GOAL takes a look…

What happened in the Cristiano Ronaldo phone slap incident?

Ronaldo appeared to knock the phone of a 14-year-old fan to the floor when making his way off the field after a Premier League outing on Merseyside.

You can see a video of the incident below.

Will Cristiano Ronaldo be punished for 'phone slap' incident?

The Football Association and Merseyside Police have announced that they are looking into the incident, which suggests that Ronaldo may yet face punishment for his actions.

The FA has told The Athletic: "We are aware of the incident and will be seeking observations on the matter from both clubs and the player involved."

Meanwhile, a statement from Merseyside Police read: "As players were leaving the pitch at 2.30pm, it was reported that a boy was assaulted by one of the away team as they left the pitch.

“Inquiries are underway and officers are currently working with Everton to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place."

Club sources would not confirm whether they would take disciplinary action and any decision on the matter will be taken internally and dealt with as 'a private matter'.

The mother of the child in question has alleged that Ronaldo’s actions left her son, who suffers from autism and dyspraxia, with a bruised hand.

Sarah Kelly has told the Liverpool Echo: "(My son) filmed all the United players walking through. And then he lowered his phone because Ronaldo had pulled down his sock and his leg was bleeding. He lowered his phone to see what it was — he didn’t even speak.

"Ronaldo then just walked past, with a terrible, terrible temper and smashed the phone out of my son’s hand and carried on walking.

“I’d understand if Jake was waving it in his face but he wasn’t near his face, it was down by the floor checking his injury. He’s an autistic boy and he’s been assaulted by a football player, that’s how I see it as a mum.”

She later added that Manchester United had "handled it terribly" and "made things even worse".

"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," Kelly explained to the Liverpool Echo. "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."

What did Cristiano Ronaldo say about the ‘phone slap’ incident?

Ronaldo crossed the line following a frustrating afternoon against Everton and was quick to offer an apology on social media.

He wrote on Instagram: "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."