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Soccer

Save the Children drops Cristiano Ronaldo over mobile phone incident with 14-year-old

The Manchester United player broke the fan’s mobile phone at the end of Utd’s defeat to Everton in the Premier League.

Update:
Save the Children drop Cristiano Ronaldo over mobile phone incident with 14-year-old
Martin Rickett - PA ImagesGetty

Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped as an ambassador of charity Save the Children, according to reports in the British press, after he smashed a 14-year-old fan’s mobile phone in a fit of rage at the end of the game against Everton on Saturday.

Save the Children, which fights to protect children and ensure they feel safe and secure at all times consider the Manchester United player’s actions go against everything the charity stands for, leading to their decisions to part ways with the Portuguese striker.

14-year-old fan recording Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo had two clear chances to score in the 1-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday and was enraged at the end of the match at Goodison Park by 14-year-old Jake Harding filming him on a mobile phone. The player hit Harding on the hand, knocking the phone to the ground and leaving the teenager’s hand “bruised” according to his mother.

Harding, who is autistic and has dyspraxia, as confirmed by his mother, “was crying and totally shocked, he didn’t digest what was happening until he got home”.

Ronaldo apologises for behaviour

In a post to social media, Ronaldo apologised for his behaviour, saying: “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 apologize 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.”

However the mother of Jake Hardign said her son was in shock and did not want to even hear about returning to watch a football match.

Police investigating Ronaldo phone incident

Merseyside Police confirmed they are talking to both clubs following reports a boy was assaulted at the match and are to interview Ronaldo over the incident.

The player may also face punishment by the Premier League.

Ronaldo’s selfie app for kids in need

Cristiano Ronaldo has been a Children in Need ambassador for several years, and in 2016 launched a selfie app to allow fans to take selfies with the player, with a portion of the proceeds going to Save the Children.

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