'Ronaldo was substituted in FIFA for Palestine support', Turkey's Erdogan claims
Turkey's Erdogan on Cristiano Ronaldo: Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Cristiano Ronaldo "is someone who stands for the Palestinian cause."
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked about Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal's performance during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo was subjected to a political ban during the tournament because he supported the Palestinian cause.
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“They have wasted Ronaldo. Unfortunately, they have imposed a political ban on him,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by Al-Jazeera.
“Sending a footballer like Ronaldo to the pitch with just 30 minutes remaining to the match ruined his psychology and took away his energy," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said adding Cristiano Ronaldo "is someone who stands for the Palestinian cause."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave no evidence for his claim but several doctored images and false reports have been shared suggesting the same. However, the reports have been fact-checked several times. Recently, a widely shared picture of Cristiano Ronaldo holding a sign that reads “Together with the Palestinians" in Spanish went viral. However, it was found to be morphed.
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However, Cristiano Ronaldo has never issued any public statements on the Israel-Palestine conflict. In 2019, a widely-circulated story that Cristiano Ronaldo had donated 1.5m euros ($1.59m) to Palestinians after he auctioned off a golden boot award was denied by a sports management company representing the footballer.
At the Qatar World Cup, Portugal lost the quarterfinal match to Morocco. Cristiano Ronaldo broke down in tears and cried inconsolably as he was seen walking off the pitch after the final whistle.