Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for one match by Saudi football bosses after appearing to make an obscene gesture at the end of Al Nassr’s recent victory over Al Shabab.
Ronaldo was reportedly summoned by Saudi Pro League bosses to explain the gesture he made towards fans chanting the name of his great rival Lionel Messi after Sunday’s match.
As fans chanted ‘Messi, Messi’ from the stands, the 39-year-old was seen covering his ears before motioning towards his nether regions in a video that quickly went viral on social media.
The committee said it would have to pay a fine of 10,000 Saudi riyals ($2,666) to the Saudi Football Federation and 20,000 riyals to Al-Shabab to cover the costs of filing the complaint.
Cristiano Ronaldo was suspended for one match in Saudi Arabia for his obscene gesture towards fans
Ronaldo responded to chants of his great rival Lionel Messi’s name by signaling towards his nether regions at the end of Al Nassr’s victory over Al Shabab.
The committee said the decision is not subject to appeal.
Reports from Spanish outlet Marca claim that Ronaldo’s gesture was seen as “immoral” in the highly religious country.
In April last year, he also appeared to grab his genitals while heading to the bench after the end of a league match against Al Hilal, which Al Nassr lost 2-0.
Before receiving the suspension on Wednesday, the Portugal captain spoke out after being criticized for the celebration, defending his actions and insisting he meant no disrespect.
“I respect all clubs,” Ronaldo said. ‘And the joy after the (game) expresses strength and victory, and is not shameful. We’re used to it in Europe.’
After Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot, his team was slowed by a penalty from former Atlético Madrid star Yannick Carrasco on the stroke of half-time.
The committee said he would have to pay a fine of 10,000 Saudi riyals ($2,666) to the Saudi Football Federation.
Talisca restored the visitors’ lead after the restart, with the Brazilian again on hand to secure the late winner for Al Nassr after Carlos had equalized for the hosts.
With three points secured after the 3-2 victory, Ronaldo congratulated his teammates at the final whistle.
But in response to fans chanting Messi’s name, he put his hand up to his ear before gesturing towards his crotch with the signal apparently directed at the fans present, a move that has gotten him into trouble.