Monday 20 May 2019

UEFA chiefs clear Ronaldo to face United at Old Trafford

Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Isabella Bonotto/AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Isabella Bonotto/AFP

Jamie Holland

Cristiano Ronaldo is free to face Manchester United in the Champions League next month after UEFA disciplinary chiefs decided not to increase his ban.

The 33-year-old Juventus forward incurred an automatic one-match suspension when he was sent off for apparently pulling defender Jeison Murillo's hair during his side's 2-0 Group H victory in Valencia on September 19.

There were fears that an extended suspension could cost him his trip back to Old Trafford on October 23, but UEFA announced yesterday that its control, ethics and disciplinary board had decided one match was sufficient. That will rule him out of Juve's home clash with Young Boys next Tuesday.

Dismissed Ronaldo was dismissed by German referee Felix Brych 29 minutes into the game at the Mestalla Stadium after the official's attention was drawn to his clash with Murillo by one of his assistants.

The match was goalless at the time, although the 10 men went on to win it courtesy of two Miralem Pjanic penalties.

The decision will come as a relief to the former Real Madrid star, who spent six hugely successful years at United before his £80m move to the Bernabeu Stadium in July 2009.

Ronaldo has endured a modest, at least by his standards, start to life in Italy following his £99.2m summer switch. He has managed just three goals in his seven competitive appearances to date, although they have all come in his last three Serie A outings.

Uefa also announced that the VAR system will be used in the Champions League from next season.

Irish Independent

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