Cristiano Ronaldo's discarded armband raises €64,000 to help Serbian baby

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 €64,000 (£54,000) at a charity auction, Serbian state TV reported yesterday on Friday.

A local humanitarian group put the blue armband up for online bidding to raise money for the medical treatment of Gavrilo Djurdjevic, a six-month-old boy with spinal muscular atrophy.

The three-day auction did not 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 the match with Serbia ended in a 2-2 draw on Saturday, Ronaldo walked off the field after his injury-time goal was disallowed. The Portugal forward dinked the ball over the Serbia goalkeeper and it looked as if it crossed the line before being cleared by the defender Stefan Mitrovic.

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 Djordje Vukicevic, a firefighter on duty, and given to the charity group.

Ronaldo was criticised for his actions and some believe his angry display could lead to Fifa sanctions. “I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change,” he said in an Instagram post. “But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.”

The Dutch referee Danny Makkelie later apologised, telling A Bola: “As a referee team, we always work hard to make good decisions. When we are in the news in this manner, it doesn’t make us happy at all.”

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