April 17th, 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for one match over alleged offensive gesture in Saudi league game

By John Duerden, The Associated Press on February 28, 2024.

FILE - Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo controls the ball during a friendly soccer match against Paris Saint-Germain in Osaka, western Japan, on July 25, 2023. Cristiano Ronaldo has come under heavy criticism after seemingly making an offensive gesture following Al Nassr’s 3-2 victory over Al Shabab in a Saudi Pro League match on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for one match for making an alleged offensive gesture during a Saudi Arabia league game while playing for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.

The suspension was announced late Wednesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the match took place.

Footage on social media appeared to show Ronaldo cupping his ear and repeatedly thrusting his hand forward near his pelvis, seemingly aimed at rival Al Shabab supporters. The incident occurred on Sunday after Al Nassr beat Al Shabab 3-2.

In the background were chants of “Messi.” Lionel Messi is Ronaldo’s longstanding soccer rival.

While the incident was not captured by television cameras, criticism of the 39-year-old Portugal striker was swift.

Al Nassr’s next match is Thursday.

Ronaldo, who moved to the Riyadh-based club in December 2022, has a league-leading 22 goals. His scored the opener against Al Shabab, a first-half penalty.

Al Nassr trails fellow league leader Al Hilal by four points, having played a game more.

Al Nassr is also in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League, a tournament it has never won.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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