Cristiano Ronaldo 'will not accept' charges of improper conduct over Everton fan's mobile
Cristiano Ronaldo will not accept a charge from the Football Association after an incident when he appeared to knock a fan's mobile phone to the ground.
The Manchester United striker was charged with "improper and/or violent" conduct following the team's defeat to Everton last season.
Footage showed Ronaldo apparently knocking a fan’s mobile phone out of his hand after United’s 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park on 9 April.
He was initially cautioned by Merseyside Police over the incident.
The player had until Monday to respond to the charge from the FA, and now United boss Ten Hag has said Ronaldo will not accept the charge.
He said: "We talked about that and he will not accept it."
But a club source subsequently indicated the United manager’s answer was down to a slight misinterpretation of the question.
Instead it is suggested Ronaldo will accept the FA's improper conduct charge, but will fight against a ban.
The source said Ten hag was defending Ronaldo and signalling the clubs’ support ahead of the player speaking at a personal FA hearing and offering mitigation as he looks to avoid a ban.
After the incident, which occurred when Ronaldo was making his way towards the tunnel, the 37-year-old issued a social-media apology for his "outburst" and invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford "as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship".
Taking to his Instagram account after the match, Ronaldo 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 apologise 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."