Cristiano Ronaldo: Fresh footage clearly shows Man Utd ace smashing phone from fan’s hand
The alleged incident involving Cristiano Ronaldo and a supporter happened after Manchester United lost 1-0 to struggling Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon
Fresh footage of Cristiano Ronaldo smashing a phone out of a fan’s hand has emerged on social media.
The veteran forward, 27, has been accused of assaulting Jake Harding, a 14-year-old boy who has autism and dyspraxia. The alleged incident happened after Manchester United lost 1-0 to struggling Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
The footage – which is different to the original viral video – shows Ronaldo limping towards the tunnel after suffering a nasty gash to his left leg. The United star and his teammates are being booed and heckled by supporters. Jake is filming them and appears to lean in to get a close-up of Ronaldo’s injury.
At that point, the player smashes the phone out of Jake’s hand. The fan looks bemused, while others complain to the police nearby. Ronaldo has publicly apologised to Jake and an alleged assault has been reported to Merseyside Police.
“We can confirm that we are liaising with Manchester United Football Club and Everton FC following reports of an alleged assault at the Everton v Manchester United football match today (Saturday 9 April 2022) at Goodison,” read a police statement.
“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 Football club to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place.
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“Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 228 of 9 April 2022.”
United added: “We are aware of an alleged incident after today’s game at Everton and the club will cooperate with any police inquiries.”
Speaking to the Liverpool ECHO, Jake’s mum Sarah said: “At full-time the Man United players started walking off. We were in the Park End so we were right by the tunnel where they came walking past – my son was there videoing them all.
“He 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.”
Sarah added: “I was crying, I was shook up, Jacob was in complete shock – he’s autistic and he’s got dyspraxia as well, so he didn’t really digest what was happening until he’s come home now.
“He’s really upset about it and it’s completely put him off going to the game again. This is the first football game he’s been to and this has happened. We had an absolutely brilliant day up until those final few seconds when they came off the pitch. It’s completely ruined the day and put a bad taste in our mouth.”
Sarah continued: “He’s an idol. Yes, he’s not from Everton and you like who you like, but Ronaldo’s a big player. My son’s always been like ‘Ronaldo’s going to be there’ – he’s an icon.
“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.”
Ronaldo’s apology reads: “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.”