Cristiano Ronaldo’s possible Al-Nassr debut postponed due to rain amid reports ex-Manchester United star could defy FA ban and Saudi Pro League regulations to play

    It is not clear when Cristiano Ronaldo will make his first appearance for Al-Nassr – but it definitely won’t be on Thursday.

    That’s because the Saudi Pro League club’s match against Al Ta’i, which was set to take place at 3pm UK time on Thursday, has been postponed for 24 hours due to rain.

    Ronaldo was unveiled in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday

    AFP

    Ronaldo was unveiled in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday

    All 28,000 seats at the Victory Arena have been sold with fans expecting to see Ronaldo make his debut.

    However, it is understood the 37-year-old will have to defy an FA suspension to take part in the fixture.

    Before his acrimonious Manchester United exit in November, Ronaldo was hit with a two-match ban and a £50,000 fine by the FA for an incident at Goodison Park in April 2022.

    The Portugal captain slapped a young Everton fan’s phone from his hand and damaged it, receiving a caution from police in the process.

    Although the FA preside over English football, FIFA regulations mean any suspensions must be observed worldwide – and Ronaldo has not yet served the two-match ban.

    Meanwhile, there are other factors preventing Ronaldo from making his highly-anticipated debut in the Middle East.

    Ronaldo’s move has bought Al-Nassr a whole new fan base

    AFP

    Ronaldo’s move has bought Al-Nassr a whole new fan base

    Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadiah reports that a foreign player must leave Al-Nassr and the club need to acquire a Certificate of Competence from the Saudi Arabian Football Federation by granting dues to employees in the football sector.

    Plus, Al-Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia recently insisted Ronaldo would be given extra time to reach full fitness.

    Nevertheless, reports had claimed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was ready to defy all of this to feature in the match against Al Ta’i, with his new club desperate to capitalise on their recent worldwide attention.

    Al-Nassr secured Ronaldo’s services by making him the highest-paid athlete of all-time with a contract worth £175million-a-year.

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