Man United’s Cristiano Ronaldo WILL accept FA improper conduct after all

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Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted a FA charge after all, despite Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag saying he would contest it.

Ronaldo was charged last month with a breach of FA Rule E3 relating to improper and/or violent conduct after he slapped a mobile phone out of the hand of a teenage fan following United’s defeat at Everton in April.

The 37-year-old had to respond to the charge by Monday, and Ten Hag said: ‘We spoke about that. He will not accept it.’

However, it’s believed the Dutchman misinterpreted the question at his press conference for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Omonia Nicosia and was referring to the player’s determination to fight against the threat of a ban. He could also face a fine or warning.

United sources later clarified that Ronaldo has indeed accepted the charge, having already publicly apologised for his actions and been handed a caution by Merseyside Police over the incident after he was interviewed over allegations of assault and criminal damage.

Supporter Jake Harding, 14, tried to film Ronaldo on his phone as he limped off the pitch at Goodison Park. The Portugal star angrily slapped the phone out of the boy’s grasp, leaving him with a bruised hand according to his mother Sarah Kelly.

No-one is denying the incident took place but United want to support Ronaldo by offering context and mitigations around it in the hope of avoiding a multi-game ban.

It’s understood that will include Ronaldo’s apology and invitation for the boy to watch a game at Old Trafford as his guest. The latter offer was rejected by the boy and his mother.

Ronaldo reached a career landmark of 700 club goals when he scored United’s winner on his return to Goodison Park on Sunday, and Ten Hag believes the player is getting up to speed after a difficult start to the season dominated by his desire to leave.

‘I want to support him as good as possible,’ said the Dutchman. ‘So we have a certain demand on players, what we expect from him in certain positions on the pitch. What I do is I want to get the best player.

‘He is getting in better shape now and I am happy with that. He can contribute more to the squad and I’m sure he will do. In the start, it was definitely the case and it’s proven once again no one can miss pre-season.’

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