Saudi football body suspends, fines Cristiano Ronaldo

Saudi Arabia’s football governing body has suspended Al-Nassr forward, Cristiano Ronaldo for one game over a ‘provocative gesture’.

The 39-year-old made the gesture on the pitch last weekend that was judged as going against the nation’s accepted principles, and it noted that the decision cannot be appealed.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation, on Thursday, February 29, said the former Juventus star was also fined a total of 30,000 riyals ($8,000) for the move, which broke rules against provoking the public during a match.

A video which went viral Al-Nassr’s 3-2 win against Al-Shabab captured Ronaldo making a repeated thrusting gesture towards his groin in response to crowds taunting him by chanting the name of his longtime rival, Lionel Messi.

The content quickly went viral and surged to the top of Saudi social media trending topics.

Sports newspaper Al-Riyadiya reported Ronaldo as saying he respected all football clubs and that the gesture expressed “strength and victory” – not offence – and was considered acceptable in Europe.