Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged by UEFA for improper conduct during his side’s 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16.
Ronaldo scored a second leg hat-trick to rescue his side from elimination, having lost 2-0 in the corresponding fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano. In the celebrations of the second goal on that occasion, Diego Simeone grabbed his crotch, later explaining it was intended to convey that his side had “cojones”.
And, when the Portuguese forward netted the defining third goal in the 86th minute, he performed the same gesture, seemingly to imply the same meaning and poke fun at his opponent.
Now, as revealed by UEFA’s official website, the 34-year-old has been charged with improper conduct.
In an official statement, the governing body explained: “Following a disciplinary investigation conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector, in accordance with the Article 55 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR), disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Juventus Football Club and Club Atlético de Madrid, played on 12 March in Italy.
“Charges against Juventus Football Club: – Improper conduct of player Cristiano Ronaldo – Art. 11 (2) (b) and Art. 11 (2) (d) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will deal with this case at its next meeting on 21 March.”
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Simeone himself was not banned for his initial gesture, escaping with just a €20,000 fine, but some Spanish publications have called for a suspension for CR7 in the aftermath of that loss.
However, when probed on whether he thought a ban was warranted, Juve manager Massimo Allegri, as quoted by Goal, declared: “Absolutely not. I think everyone celebrated their own way on the field and in the stands. I saw nothing strange, just a celebration. There won’t be a ban.”