Police launch investigation after Cristiano Ronaldo appears to slap phone out of fan’s hand
The footage was taken after Manchester United's 1-0 defeat to Everton in the Premier League over the weekend.
A police investigation has been launched after Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be seen slapping a mobile phone out of a fan’s hand.
In footage that was shared by popular fan account @EvertonHub on Twitter over the weekend, the Manchester United star looks to be seen throwing his right hand towards the ground as he left the Goodison Park pitch following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.
During the player’s action, the footage also appears to show a phone bouncing out of a spectator’s hand and on to the floor.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo following the incident, the fan’s mother has claimed her 14-year-old son Jake Harding, who is autistic and “didn’t really digest what has happening” until he got home, was left “bruised” by the incident, which left the youngster “in complete shock”.
“He’s really upset about it, and it’s completely put him off going to the game again,” Sarah Kelly told the paper.
“This is the first football game he’s been to, and this has happened.”
Following the incident, the Portuguese striker took to Instagram to address the club’s loss and apologise to the young fan for his “outburst”.
The post read: “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 [so] I would like to apologise for my outburst.
“If possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.”
Manchester United also said it was aware of the footage – which has been widely shared on social media over the weekend – and the club confirmed on Saturday afternoon it was too looking into the incident.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police has now said: “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 at Goodison.
“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 under way 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.”
Merseyside Police is now asking anyone with information on this incident to contact the force’s social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 228 of 9 April 2022.
Featured Image – Manchester United (via Instagram)