Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to make an insulting gesture towards fans as he walked off the pitch on Tuesday night in a video released on social media.
The Portuguese star Ronaldo, 38, was furious as he stormed off the pitch – and footage online seems to show him grabbing his crotch in response to fans chanting the name of his rival Lionel Messi.
Supporters inside the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh sung ‘Messi! Messi! Messi!’ repeatedly in what was undoubtedly an attempt to taunt Ronaldo.
As he heads for the tunnel, the former Manchester United player appears to put his hand in his genital area and pull upwards.
🔴🔴🔴 .. إن لم يصدر قرار عاجل يبعد هذا المتغطرس ويحمي ابناءنا من هذه القذارة فعلى الدنيا .. السلام ..!!
— خالد بن عبدالله (@khalidalsahli6) April 18, 2023
A Saudi lawyer was among those to complain, accusing Ronaldo of committing ‘a crime of public indecency’ which is ‘one of the crimes that entails arrest and deportation if committed by a foreigner’.
But his club has now insisted Ronaldo was merely nursing an injury to his groin after an incident earlier in the game.
In statement, Al Nassr said:
“Ronaldo is injured. A duel with Gustavo Cuellar, player of Al-Hilal, started with a blow in a very sensitive area.
“This is confirmed information. The fans can think what they want.”