Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes: Players Who Shoved Referees After Mitrovic’s Incident

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes: Players Who Shoved Referees After Mitrovic’s Incident

Martin Moses
March 21, 2023 at 1:11 PM
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic could face further action from the FA for pushing an official at Old Trafford
  • Confronting match officials, let alone touching them, is often frowned upon by football rules
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is one high-profile player who paid the ultimate price for shoving a ref

Aleksandar Mitrovic's shocking push on match official, Chris Kavanagh has continued to elicit reactions across the football divide.

It is widely expected that the FA will take further action against the Serbian striker after he allowed his emotions to get the better of him during Fulham's quarter-final clash against Manchester United.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham, Willian, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Paulo Di Canio
Aleksandar Mitrovic is sent off by Chris Kavanagh on March 19. Photo by Clive Brunskill.
Source: Getty Images

Mitrovic was incensed by Kavanagh's decision to send Willian off after the Brazilian handled the ball in the penalty area.

But as Sports Brief expounds, with additional information from Daily Star, the Serbian is not the first player to do so - only that not all cases are acted upon.

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo did not achieve all that he has in football only to keep quiet when he feels aggrieved by a decision. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is always on the ear of the referee, asking for decisions to go his way.

However, he went a bit too far during an El Clasico match in 2017. Referee, Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea handed the striker two yellow cards in quick succession, which Ronaldo disagreed with.

He ended up pushing the referee in protest and the Portuguese star was handed a five-game ban as a result.

2. Paulo Di Canio

Di Canio remains the most heavily punished player for shoving a referee, with his 1998 incident seeing him banned for 11 games.

The Italian footballer was at Sheffield Wednesday when he got into a scuffle with Arsenal defender, Martin Keown. He then reacted angrily by pushing referee, Paul Alcock after he had sent him off.

Di Canio wasn't immediately apologetic, but perhaps the length of his ban made him reconsider his actions.

3. Bruno Fernandes

Well, not all 'attacks' on referees are acted on. Bruno Fernandes was involved in a similar case on March 5, with the United skipper pushing a linesman after he disagreed with his decision during their 7-0 humbling at Liverpool.

Luckily for the Portuguese midfielder, no action was taken against him - not even a caution.

4. Rick Karsdorp

As in Fernandes' case, Karsdorp was lucky to avoid punishment at the end of AS Roma's game against Napoli earlier this season.

The full-back remonstrated with referee, Massimiliano Irrati at the end of the game, with the referee mistakenly stepping on his toes. Karsdorp reacted by pushing the official away.

How the Dutch player avoided a card despite Irrati having a red card on his hands remains a mystery. It is also the famous incident where Jose Mourinho avoided a red card by hilariously turning away from the situation.

Comparing Mitrovic's and Fernandes' situations

Sports Brief reported that Mitrovic's red card against Manchester United has divided opinion after the striker was given his marching orders for barging into the referee.

The Serbian was one of the three Fulham members to be sent off - including the Cottagers' manager - in a crazy 60 seconds of action at Old Trafford on March 19.

While not many people will argue the validity of the red cards, many will question the lack of consistency in officiating in a league widely considered the best in the world.

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Martin Moses
Editor- EPL I Serie A
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