Saudi Pro League: Al-Nassr Forward Cristiano Ronaldo Suspended - Know Reason

Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo will also have to cough up a fine of 20,000 Saudi Riyals ($5,333) to Al-Shabab and half that amount to the Saudi Arabia Football Federation. The disciplinary committee said its decision was not open to appeal


X/AlNassr FC
Al-Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal during their Saudi Pro League 2023-24 match against Al-Shabab on February 26. Photo: X/AlNassr FC

Days after his alleged offensive gesture during a Saudi Pro League game brought him under the scanner, football superstar and Al-Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for one match on Thursday, February 29, 2024. (More Football News)

The disciplinary and ethics committee of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation confirmed the ban early Thursday morning. Al-Nassr will play their next league game at home against Al-Hazm later on the same day.

The Portuguese forward will also have to cough up a fine of 20,000 Saudi Riyals ($5,333) to Al-Shabab, so as to cover the costs of the club filing the complaint, and half that amount to the Saudi federation. The committee added that the decision was not open to appeal.


After Al-Nassr had beaten their Riyadh rivals Al-Shabab 3-2 on Sunday, social media videos surfaced showing Ronaldo cupping his ear and repeatedly thrusting his hand forward near his pelvis, in a gesture that seemed to be aimed at Al-Shabab fans.

Background chants of “Messi,” referencing Ronaldo's contemporary and long-standing rival Lionel Messi, could be heard. Though the incident was not picked up by TV cameras, the actions of Ronaldo, who converted a first-half penalty in the game, were flayed in Saudi Arabia by former players and commentators.

As per reports in the Saudi Arabia media, the 39-year-old told the panel that his gesture was one of victory and common in Europe.


It is not the first time that the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star has courted controversy since joining Al-Nassr. Last April, upon leaving the field after a game against Al-Hilal, Ronaldo seemed to grab his genitals as fans chanted Messi's name. On that occasion, Al-Nassr had said that the forward had sustained a groin injury in the match.

Ronaldo, who moved to the Riyadh-based club in December 2022, has a league-leading 22 goals. He scored the opening goal against Al-Shabab, a first-half penalty.

Al Nassr have also made it to the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League, a tournament the club has never won.

(With AP inputs)