Ronaldo’s armband auctioned for $75,000 to help Serbian baby

Sports

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo holding captain’s armband, left, reacts during the World Cup 2022 group A qualifying soccer match against Serbia at the Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, March 27, 2021. The captain’s armband which Cristiano Ronaldo threw to the pitch after his overtime winning goal was disallowed in a World Cup qualifier against Serbia has been put on auction Tuesday March 30, 2021. The armband is being auctioned by a charity group raising money for surgery of a six-month-old boy from Serbia suffering spinal muscular atrophy. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The captain’s armband that Cristiano Ronaldo angrily threw to the ground during Portugal’s World Cup qualifier in Belgrade last week has been sold to an unidentified bidder for 64,000 euros ($75,000) at a charity auction, Serbian state TV reported on Friday.

A Serbian humanitarian group put the blue armband up for online bidding to raise money for medical treatment for a 6-month-old boy suffering with spinal muscular atrophy.

The three-day auction didn’t pass without controversy as some participants tried to disrupt the process by putting up unrealistically huge sums. The fake bidding triggered public outrage with authorities pledging to find and punish the culprits.

Moments before last Saturday’s match with Serbia ended in a 2-2 draw, Ronaldo walked off the field after his injury-time goal was disallowed. The Portugal great dinked the ball over the Serbia goalkeeper and it looked as if it crossed the line before being cleared by a defender.

While heading to the dressing room before the final whistle, Ronaldo angrily threw down his armband near the touchline. After the match, it was picked up by a firefighter on duty and given to the charity group.

Ronaldo was criticized for his actions and some believe his angry display could lead to FIFA sanctions.

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