MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised after he appeared to knock a mobile phone out of a supporter’s hand following his side’s 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.
Footage emerged on social media of Ronaldo appearing to swipe his hand towards the ground as he walked off the pitch and headed for the tunnel at Goodison Park. Eyewitnesses said the 37-year-old had knocked a fan’s phone out of their hand and it smashed to the ground.
Ronaldo took to Instagram to apologise for the incident.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” Ronaldo said. “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.”
The club have told Reuters they are looking into the incident.
The defeat left United seventh in the Premier League standings and they face the prospect of missing out on qualification for next season’s Champions League as they are six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
(Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Pritha Sarkar)