Turkey president Recep Erdogan makes bizarre claim Cristiano Ronaldo was under a ‘political ban’ at the World Cup for his alleged support for Palestine, as he nears a £1.2bn Saudi Arabia move
- Turkey’s president claims Cristiano Ronaldo was under a ‘political ban’
- Ronaldo, 37, had a dreadful World Cup as Portugal were knocked out
- Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ronaldo was punished for his support of Palestine
- However, Ronaldo has never publicly expressed support for Palestine
Cristiano Ronaldo’s dreadful World Cup campaign came amid a ‘political ban’ against the 37-year-old, Turkey’s president has said in a bizarre statement.
Fresh from his explosive interview with Piers Morgan which resulted in his Manchester United exit, Ronaldo was hoping to have a strong tournament in Qatar, in what many viewed as his last chance of winning the World Cup.
However, Ronaldo turned out to be a hindrance, rather than a help, to Portugal’s national team, with coach Fernando Santos relegating him to the bench as the tournament developed.
Cristiano Ronaldo was subject to a ‘political ban’ at the World Cup, Turkey’s president has said in a bizarre statement
Ronaldo was unable to rescue his side after coming on for the final 30 minutes of their elimination by Morocco, and the veteran was seen in tears as he left the pitch in the Middle East.
Now, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Turkey’s president – believes that Ronaldo’s poor campaign in Qatar was due solely because of an ambiguous ‘political ban’. He claims that Ronaldo has been punished for his alleged support for Palestine.
‘They have wasted Ronaldo. Unfortunately, they have imposed a political ban on him,’ Erdogan said at a youth event on Sunday, via The Mirror. ‘Sending a footballer like Ronaldo to the pitch with just 30 minutes remaining to the match ruined his psychology and took away his energy.’
In relation to the political comment, Erdogan claimed: ‘Ronaldo is someone who stands for the Palestinian cause.’
Ronaldo had a torrid World Cup campaign as Portugal were knockout out in the quarter finals
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims Ronaldo’s support for Palestine saw a ‘political ban’ imposed on him. Ronaldo has never publicly expressed support for Palestine
Ronaldo has never expressed any public statements on Palestine. It remains unclear who Erdogan means by ‘they’.
Reports of Ronaldo’s support for Palestine have regularly been debunked, while doctored imaged have emerged online in the past.
The Portuguese star once posed with a Palestinian scarf. However, this was to represent the Palestinian Football Association. He has also been pictured alongside former Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz, presenting a football shirt.
Ronaldo’s footballing future remains unclear, amid reports that the 37-year-old is on his way to Saudi Arabia after being offered a lucrative offer.
The 37-year-old is now exploring his options as he searches for a new club this winter
Last week, Marca reported that Ronaldo ‘will’ sign a contract with Al-Nassr that will keep him at the Saudi Arabian club until 2025, after he rejected a deal to join the club last summer.
Ronaldo has been training in Dubai after Portugal’s World Cup exit, and a package worth a staggering £1.2bn has been tabled. It would see Ronaldo play for Al-Nassr for two-and-a-half years, before taking on an ambassadorial role with the Saudis for another five years – as they eye up hosting rights for the World Cup in 2030.
Erdogan added: ‘According to the information I have received, Ronaldo is now going to Saudi Arabia.’
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