Premier League

Cristiano Ronaldo BANNED from making his Al Nassr debut

Stuart Telford
Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr, Al Hilal

Cristiano Ronaldo will be unable to make his Al Nassr debut on Thursday due to an FA suspension dished out to the former Manchester United man in November.

Ronaldo was unveiled as an Al Nassr player on Tuesday after signing a contract worth a reported €200 million per season following his release by Manchester United.

He had been expected to make his Saudi Pro League debut against Al Tai on Thursday, but he will have to miss that game and the upcoming fixture against derby rivals Al Shabab owing to a suspension he picked up late last year.

READ: Cristiano Ronaldo: ‘I had other offers’ apart from Al Nassr

Ronaldo had scored his 700th club goal to fire Man Utd to a 2-1 win at Everton in October, but on leaving the field hit a phone out of a teenaged boy’s hand, damaging the device and bruising the youngster.

He was given a two-game suspension by the FA in November, but was subsequently released following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he slammed United, the club’s Glazer family ownership and manager Erik ten Hag.

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With Ronaldo and United parting ways “by mutual consent” before the break in play for the World Cup, there have been no games for him to miss at club level until now.

READ: Cristiano Ronaldo creates Real Madrid dream team at Al Nassr

FA clarification

“The suspension we have imposed must have effect,” the FA said on imposing their ban. “In other words, it applies to MUFC’s first team competitive matches for which he is eligible for selection.

“Should he leave MUFC before it completes two first team competitive matches the balance of the suspension will apply to any new club he should join.”

Article 12.1 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players backs up this statement, and Ronaldo will have to sit out on Thursday.

More than 5,000 AL Nassr jerseys with Ronaldo’s name on have been sold over the last 24 hours, and the 25,000-capacity Mrsool Park is sold out.

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Ronaldo will be introduced again before kick-off after insisting he wanted to see his new teammates in action, but the Al Nassr faithful will have to wait until the meeting with Al Ittifaq on 21 January to see their new hero in action.

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