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 $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 six-month-old boy suffering with spinal muscular atrophy.
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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 pitch after the referee waived play on rather than award a goal.
Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic attempted to clear Ronaldo’s goal-bound strike in stoppage time, but despite his efforts, the ball had crossed the line and goal should have been awarded.
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.
Former Portugal international Fernando Meira criticised Ronaldo’s behaviour while referee Danny Makkelie publicly apologised to the Juventus forward and Portugal for denying them the winning goal.