Cristiano Ronaldo Suspended for Controversial Gesture in Saudi League Match

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.29 - 2024 8:33 AM CET

Photo: oday jamil moari /
Photo: oday jamil moari /
Cristiano Ronaldo receives a one-match suspension and a fine for making an alleged offensive gesture during a Saudi Pro League game.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer superstar playing for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League, has been handed a one-match suspension, AP reported.

The penalty comes after Ronaldo allegedly made an offensive gesture during a league match against Al-Shabab, which his team won 3-2.

Caught on video, Ronaldo seemed to taunt Al-Shabab fans with a gesture following chants of "Messi," nodding to his famous rivalry with Lionel Messi.

The Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) announced the suspension and a fine of 20,000 Saudi Riyals ($5,333) against Ronaldo, citing the gesture's offensive nature.

The incident, which was not broadcast on television, sparked significant debate in Saudi Arabia, with many criticizing Ronaldo's behavior.

Ronaldo defended his actions to the disciplinary committee, explaining the gesture as a common sign of victory in Europe.

However, this is not Ronaldo's first controversy in Saudi Arabia. Last April, he faced backlash for a similar incident during a match against Al-Hilal.

Despite the controversy, Ronaldo leads the league with 22 goals this season and helped Al Nassr reach the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

The ban means Ronaldo will miss Al Nassr's upcoming game against Al-Hazm.