Merseyside Police have confirmed that they have contacted the family of a 14-year-old autistic fan who appeared to have his phone smashed by Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Footage, which began circulating on social media after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park on Saturday, showed Ronaldo appearing to knock something out of a boy’s hand as he headed towards the tunnel.
Manchester United have reportedly decided not to punish the player following claims that he smashed the Everton fan’s phone.
The Sun reported that the club have accepted the Portuguese superstar’s apology on social media and are no longer investigating the incident.
Despite the club dropping their own investigations, Merseyside Police are looking into the incident and have appealed for more information.
It comes after a mother claimed her autistic son was ‘assaulted’ and had her phone smashed by the 37-year-old.
Sarah Kelly claimed son Jacob Harding’s first trip to watch Everton was ‘ruined’ by the alleged altercation which happened as United left the pitch after the match.
Ronaldo has since apologised for his ‘outburst’ and has invited the boy to watch a match at Old Trafford, but Miss Kelly said the experience has left Jacob wary of going to a football match again.
Fresh footage has emerged of Cristiano Ronaldo appearing to smash a mobile phone out of the hand of a fan after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat by Everton at Goodison Park
A mum has claimed that the Portuguese superstar ‘assaulted’ and ‘bruised’ her 14-year-old son by swiping his mobile phone out of his hand at full-time in the Park End
Miss Kelly, from Upton, Merseyside, said her 14-year-old son was left with a ‘bruised’ hand after the phone was knocked from his grasp by Ronaldo, as the boy tried to film the United star’s leg wound.
She said: ‘We were right by the tunnel where they came walking past — my son was there videoing them all. 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.’
Miss Kelly took pictures of what she said was Jacob’s bruised hand and smashed phone screen.
The 36-year-old added: ‘You can see by the bruise that he’s made contact. 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 we got home. He’s really upset and it’s completely put him off going to the game again.
Sarah Kelly posted this message at the weekend showing pictures of her son’s bruised hand
‘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 Jacob 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 posted an apology to his Instagram page on Saturday night.
‘It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to social media to apologise for his ‘outburst’ after he appeared to knock an Everton fan’s phone out of their hand as he walked down the tunnel at Goodison Park
Merseyside Police confirmed that they were liaising with both clubs.
In a message on Twitter, they wrote: ‘@MerseyPolice can confirm that they’re carrying out an investigating following an incident at the #EVEMAN match at Goodison involving a player as they were walking off the pitch and will be speaking to all parties involved.’
It was not a good day at the office for Ronaldo or United – who have won just one of their last five Premier League games.
Ronaldo struggled throughout the lifeless defeat as his United team-mates failed to provide any service.
He did eventually have a chance to level things up late on but was denied from close range by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
As a result, the Red Devils now look unlikely to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Ronaldo had endured a miserable day on the pitch as his United team lost at lowly Everton