Cristiano Ronaldo may face Euro 2024 punishment after penalty drama and ‘illegal’ move

Cristiano Ronaldo may face Euro 2024 punishment after penalty drama and ‘illegal’ move

Cristiano Ronaldo looks to have broken marketing rules at the European Championships as the Portugal forward collaborates with a fitness brand that published his stats on social media

Cristiano Ronaldo could find himself in trouble at the Euros

Cristiano Ronaldo could find himself in trouble at the Euros (
Image: Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo could find himself in hot water with UEFA after his involvement in ‘ambush marketing’ following Portugal’s last 16 victory.

The Euro 2016 winners needed penalties to see off Slovakia, on a tumultuous night for Ronaldo, where there was no shortage of tears and no little relief.

Afterwards Ronaldo had his heart rate data shared on social media. In doing so the Al-Nassr star showcased his collaboration with the fitness company WHOOP – who design wearable devices that track things like your heart rate, athletic performance, and sleep score.

The practice is illegal as it sees a company attempt to associate their product or services with an event, in this case Euro 2024, which already has its own official sponsors. The 39-year-old is wearing one of their devices during his outings at the Euros and his heart rate data during Portugal’s penalty shootout win was published by the company on Tuesday.

Ricardo Fort – the former head of global sponsorships at Visa and Coca-Cola – has claimed on social media that the post was a clear example of ambush marketing and should be met with a fine for both player and company.

He said: “This chart has been circulating today. Cristiano and WHOOP is ambush marketing to Euro 2024. It is illegal and both the player and the company should be fined.”

Fort later added: “The post is about a UEFA matches, uses the names of the two national teams playing, score, and a player on the field. They are implying an association with the event and that is illegal. Not having ‘a competitor as a sponsor’ isn’t a reason to tolerate infringements.”

An example of a player facing a punishment for such an act came during Euro 2012 when Nicklas Bendtner pulled up his shirt as he celebrated to reveal a pair of Paddy Power branded underpants. The Dane was later fine £80,000 and banned for one competitive game by UEFA.

Ronaldo endured a mixed night in the last 16 encounter but is likely to start in Portugal’s quarter-final showdown with France on Friday.

Former England captain Alan Shearer insists: “I don’t think Martinez has a choice – Ronaldo plays. We saw that in their third game when Portugal had already qualified, only three players had started from the previous 11 and Ronaldo was one of them.

“He’s 39 years-old and he’s taking all the free-kicks, he took that penalty and missed it, although he deserves great credit for the way he took the first penalty in the shootout because the pressure on him was absolutely huge.

“But Martinez doesn’t have a choice, if Ronaldo is fit Ronaldo plays. That’s the rule, I’m afraid.”

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