Ronaldo faces Saudi probe after 'obscene' gesture toward Messi fans

Ronaldo faces Saudi probe after 'obscene' gesture toward Messi fans
Saudi Pro League officials could investigate Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese footballer made an 'obscene' gesture to 'Messi' fans.
2 min read
27 February, 2024
Ronaldo has been the biggest name to join the Saudi Pro League [Getty]

Cristiano Ronaldo could face a probe by the Saudi Pro League (SPL) after allegedly directing a rude gesture to opposition fans who had chanted the name of his rival, Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese star was filmed allegedly moving his hands toward his crotch in front of opposition fans after scoring the winner against Riyadh rivals Al-Shabab.

Fans had allegedly taunted the 39-year-old by chanting the name of Inter Miami star, Messi, who has been in competition with Ronaldo over the past decade for the title of the world's greatest-ever player.

He now faces an investigation by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAAF) which governs the sport in the kingdom, with football fans saying that no player is too big to avoid punishment for obscene gestures.

"The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see," wrote Saudi journalist Waleed Al-Farraj.

"Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are."

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Ronaldo was the first major coup for the Saudi Pro League when the former Manchester United player signed for Al-Nassr in December.

His entry into the Saudi top division ignited a wave of big-name signings to the SPL, with Sadio Mane joining Ronaldo at Al-Nassr, and other players such as Karim Benzema and Neymar signing for rival teams.

Last April, Ronaldo made a similar gesture after an Al-Nassr loss and earlier this month allegedly stuffed an Al-Hilal scarf down his shorts before throwing it to the floor.

Despite a push for social liberalisation in Saudi Arabia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom remains a conservative place with obscene gestures in public punished by law.