The mother of a teenage football fan has said Cristiano Ronaldo “assaulted” her son after the Portuguese superstar appeared to hit a phone out of the hand of a spectator following Manchester United’s loss to Everton on Saturday.
As the players left the field following United’s 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park, Ronaldo was reported to have hit a phone out of the hands of a spectator.
Ronaldo took to Instagram late on Saturday to apologise for his “outburst” and invited the fan to watch a game at Old Trafford – albeit stopping short of directly addressing the report about knocking a phone from the hands of a fan.
It has subsequently been claimed that the fan in question is a 14-year-old autistic boy, who was attending his first football game.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Sarah Kelly – the mother of Jake Harding – said: “At full-time the Man Utd 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.”
Ronaldo walked off with a wound visible on his left leg.
“He filmed all the United players walking through,” Kelly added. “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.”
Kelly claimed her son was left with a bruise on his hand and really upset.
“You can see by the bruise that he’s made contact. I just can’t believe I’m talking about it,” she added. “I was crying, I was shook up, Jake 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.
“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.”
Merseyside Police confirmed it is investigating an alleged assault and that inquiries are underway.