Sarah, the mother of an autistic boy who Cristiano Ronaldo assaulted, has pleaded for justice to be duly served as the FA opens an investigation into the event. Ronald smashed the phone of the autistic boy after Manchester United lost a Premier League match, to Everton, on Saturday, April 9, 2021.
Sarah, 37, the mother of Jacob Harding, 14, is bent on securing justice for his son after the viral video of Cristiano Ronaldo smashing Jacob Harding’s phone to the ground surfaced online.
On Saturday, April 9, 2021, Manchester United traveled to Goodison Park to take on Everton in a Premier League game with Cristiano Ronaldo, who had made a second return to Red Devils and was leading Ralf Rangnick’s attack.
Manchester United lost 1-0 to the Merseyside club, and Cristiano Ronaldo was obviously infuriated as the team headed off the pitch to the dressing room.
Jacob Harding, a 14-year-old autistic was pictured with his phone trying to take a shot of Man United players, who were heading off the pitch.
In a video that went viral on social media, Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to slap the boy’s hand, smashing the phone to the ground.
After the incident, the FA charged Cristiano Ronaldo for breaching FA Rule E3 with the Merseyside Police proceeding with an investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, Jacob Harding’s mother, Sarah, had insisted that his son must get justice and the case should not be swept under the carpet. According to Sarah, after the incident, she faced “six months of hell,” with Cristiano Ronaldo fans turning heavily on her.
“I’m being hounded by people saying I’m dragging it up again but I didn’t know anything about it,” she said.
Sarah insisted that Ronaldo must not be allowed to get away with the incident because the behaviour is totally unacceptable and intolerable.
“Let’s hope he finally gets the right punishment. He can’t keep getting away with it. His behavior is unacceptable”, she said.
“He [Cristiano Ronaldo] should have been dealt with six months ago. My son talks about what happened to him every day. He still hasn’t had his phone back.”
Sarah further marveled at how the authorities are pampering the case they should have dealt with months ago. She further blamed the highly-rated star for cynicism and questioned how he can rest peacefully after causing a young fan big distress.
“He should have paid for that. He’s the one who caused all this”, she added.
“It baffles me – he can assault a child and carry on as normal. How can he sleep at night knowing the distress he has caused to a young fan?”
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo had since tendered an apology to the 14-year-old and was invited by the Merseyside Police and cautioned for an alleged assault and criminal damage last month. The Merseyside police also paid to repair the phone.
Despite the measures taken to settle the case by the Merseyside Police, Sarah had insisted that Ronaldo should have repaired the phone himself. She also dismissed Ronaldo’s apology saying;
“He offered us to meet him and said he was sorry but said he had done nothing wrong. That’s not an apology; that’s an insult.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Merseyside Police stated that the repair of the phone did not spell the end of the investigation; the phone needed to be repaired as the investigation progressed.
As the investigation progresses, Ronaldo is expected to answer to FA Rule E3 which states:
“A participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game. They shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute.
“They should also not use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”
After the incident, Ronaldo expressed his regret and admitted that he had acted wrongly out of emotion and the pressure of the moment.
“It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing”, Ronaldo wrote.
“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.”
Reacting to the development, Manchester United said they have noted the announcement by the FA and will lend full support to Cristiano Ronaldo as the investigation progresses.