Manchester United will reportedly fight any attempt to ban Cristiano Ronaldo for smashing a fan’s mobile phone at a Premier League match in April.
But on Wednesday, United manager Erik ten Hag said Ronaldo, who had been given until Monday evening to respond to the charge, would “not accept” it.
“We spoke about that and he will not accept it,” said Ten Hag, ahead of Thursday’s Europa League match against Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia.
Manchester United have since clarified Ten Hag’s remarks, saying that Ronaldo would not accept a harsh punishment – rather than disputing that the incident took place.
The FA charged Ronaldo with improper conduct last month (Image: Alamy)But the Premier League club are also prepared to fight any attempt to ban Ronaldo, according to the BBC.
Sarah Kelly, the mother of the boy involved, said her 14-year-old son, Jake Harding, had been left “bruised” and “in complete shock” by the incident in April.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo at the time, Kelly said her son was autistic and “really upset” about what happened – claiming it had “completely put him off” attending another match.
Ronaldo later apologised on social media and invited the young supporter to watch another game at Old Trafford.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing,” he wrote on Instagram.
“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.”