Fans Brand Saudi Pro League as 'Corrupt' After Ronaldo Incidents During Al Nassr Defeat to Al Hilal

Fans Brand Saudi Pro League as 'Corrupt' After Ronaldo Incidents During Al Nassr Defeat to Al Hilal

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
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  • Football enthusiasts express dissatisfaction with the officiating during the Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal match
  • The fierce encounter at the King Fahd International Stadium was marred by several contentious decisions
  • One such decision involved Cristiano Ronaldo's apparent equaliser before Al Hilal scored two late goals

Cristiano Ronaldo left fans puzzled when his goal was disallowed in Al Nassr's 3-0 loss to rivals Al Hilal on Friday.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has seamlessly adjusted to his new life in Saudi Arabia following a sensational free transfer to Al Nassr.

Ronaldo has secured a lucrative deal with the club, remaining under contract until 2025. In 15 appearances for Al Nassr this season, he has notched an impressive 15 goals and contributed two assists.

Al-Nassr, Al Hilal, Crsitiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo visibly frustrated as he watched Al-Nassr crumble to a humbling defeat. Photo by Michael Regan
Source: Getty Images

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic gave Al-Hilal the lead in the 64th minute with a fierce header, per Sports Illustrated.

Ronaldo thought he had found an equaliser nine minutes later at the King Fahd International StadiumMrsool Park, only to see his effort adjudged to have been offside, much to his and his team's frustrations and they heavily protested.

VAR confirmed the offside, but replays showed that it was extremely tight. Castro headed to the fourth official to show the replay on a mobile phone as drama ensued at King Fahd.

However, fans found themselves perplexed during the lead-up to Ronaldo's denied effort, wherein the Al Nassr superstar connected with an over-the-top ball.

In the 85th minute, Ronaldo believed he deserved a penalty after a collision with Bono, who was trying to claim a cross. Despite the collision, the referee once again frustrated Al-Alami, dismissing their appeals.

Former Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic decisively concluded the match by securing a brace in the late stages, leaving Ronaldo to watch in despair.

The two incidents have circulated widely on social media, prompting one fan to go to the extent of suggesting that the Saudi Pro League is corrupt.

@Ronaldo_Nassr7 wrote:

"I hope Saudi enjoys the last year off the league before people leave for Europe again. Corrupted League."

@DLent91 posted:

"Al Nassr manager showing Ronaldo offside goal on his phone to the referee. This Insha’Allah Camel league just keeps on giving"

@Mizar_ibk said:

"What is wrong with the Saudi League..they are ruining games with horrible officiating & it's always against Al Nassr..who are the Useless VAR officials in charge of this game..that Bono tackle on Ronaldo was a clear penalty..there was also a clear push before Mitrovic's goal!"

@Walentino0 commented:

"Al Hilal win ? I’m not even surprised, it’s obvious they want them to win the league."

Ronaldo reacts to 'Messi' chants

In a related publication, Sports Brief reported that as the halftime whistle blew, Al-Hilal fans cheered Messi's name. Ronaldo then reciprocated with blown kisses while leaving the field.

It proved to be a challenging night for CR7, facing the echoes of rival fans chanting Lionel Messi's name after his team suffered a heavy defeat in the Riyadh Derby.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)