Boy 'assaulted' by Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo declines invitation to Old Trafford
The footage allegedly shows Ronaldo knocking a phone out of a fan's hand.
A teenage boy who Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly 'assaulted' at Goodison Park has declined the footballer's invitation to Old Trafford.
Police are investigating the incident after the Manchester United player appeared to slap a young fan's phone to the ground after his side's defeat at Everton on Saturday, 9 April.
His mother Sarah Kelly said the phone belonged to her 14-year-old son Jake Harding and claims that the Portuguese striker "assaulted" him and bruised his hand.
She said a representative for Ronaldo phoned and invited her and her son to meet the player at Old Trafford after footage of the incident went viral online.
"The way I see it is, if someone assaulted him in the street and then asked us to go around for dinner, we wouldn’t," Sarah explained after Jake refused the offer.
"Just because he’s Cristiano Ronaldo, why would we do it? It’s like we owe him a favour, but I’m sorry, we don’t."Sarah added: "We’ve kindly declined the offer to go to United because Jake doesn’t want to go there and he doesn’t want to see Ronaldo. He’s made that pretty clear.
"It’s affected him more than it’s affected me, so I have put everything to him to make his own mind up on - he doesn’t want to go to United, he doesn’t want to go to see Ronaldo.
"All that I’m saying right now is that it’s in the hands of the police."
Merseyside Police confirmed on Saturday, 8 April, that it was investigating reports that a boy had been allegedly assaulted by an away player.
Meanwhile, the Football Association (FA) said: “We are aware of the incident and will be seeking observations on the matter from both clubs and the player involved.”A spokesperson for Manchester United confirmed the club will cooperate with the FA and the police's inquiries.
Additionally, Ronaldo took to Instagram on Saturday night to apologise for his 'outburst'.
He said: "It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing.
"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 apologize 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."
Sarah praised Everton, who have offered Jake a shirt signed by Jordan Pickford and Richarlison, match tickets and the chance to meet the players.
She said: "Everton, it’s the People’s Club and they haven’t half come through for Jake. It’s really cheered him up this afternoon.
"It was lovely to see because something nice has come out of something horrible."
On Monday 11 April, a Merseyside Police spokesperson said: "Following an incident at Goodison Park on Saturday 9 April, we are working with Everton Football Club and have been in touch with the boy’s family.
"The matter is under investigation and we are gathering information. Our enquiries remain ongoing at this time."Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 22000243890."