Portugal will not be distracted by the drama surrounding captain Cristiano Ronaldo's acrimonious departure from Manchester United, coach Fernando Santos said on Wednesday, a day before their World Cup opener against Ghana.

Portugal captain Roonaldo was not present at the pre-match media event.

"This is something that has not even been discussed," Fernando Santos said at a press conference. "This conversation has not come up at any moment, not even from him."

Manchester United announced on Tuesday that Ronaldo would leave the club with immediate effect, bringing to a bitter end his second spell at Old Trafford after he said in a media interview that he felt betrayed by the club.

Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who plays for Manchester United, told the same news conference in Qatar that he had not discussed the situation with his now former club team-mate.

"I don't feel uncomfortable. I don't have to pick a side. It was a privilege to play with him," Fernandes said. "We know that nothing lasts forever. It was good while it lasted."

Meanwhile Ronaldo has been banned for two matches and handed a £50,000 fine by the Football Association for hitting a mobile phone out of a fan's hand at Everton.

The 37-year-old had the altercation with the 14-year-old boy after a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park on 9 April and was cautioned by Merseyside Police.

The FA also charged the Portugal forward with improper conduct and an independent panel has handed down a suspension and hefty fine.

The ban will be transferred when Ronaldo joins a new club in any country, but does not count in the World Cup.

A statement from the FA read: "Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for two matches, fined £50,000 (€58,000) and warned as to his future conduct for a breach of FA rule E3.

"The forward admitted that his conduct after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Manchester United FC and Everton FC on Saturday 9 April 2022 was improper.

"An independent regulatory commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions."

Ronaldo had accepted the FA charge but requested a personal hearing in a bid to try to avoid a suspension.

During the independent hearing, held over Microsoft Teams on 8 November, Ronaldo claimed he had "legitimate concern... for his own physical safety and well-being and leaving the field of play" after approaching the tunnel where Everton fans were congregating.

However, the panel rejected the claim, citing it was an "act born of frustration and annoyance rather than fear or concern for his wellbeing".

The panel also rejected the FA's submission that Ronaldo should be banned for three games.

If and when Ronaldo serves the suspension remains to be seen.

The ban will carry over if he joins another team under the jurisdiction of the FA and it will also be transferred to a new association, meaning he must serve a two-game domestic sanction.


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