The captain’s armband that Cristiano Ronaldo threw to the ground in anger after Portugal were controversially denied a late goal at the weekend fixture in the World Cup qualifier against Serbia was on Tuesday, March 30, put on auction to raise money for a sick child.
While the scores were still 2-2 in Belgrade, Ronaldo thought he had scored the crucial goal in stoppage time when the ball appeared to cross the goalline before Stefan Mitrovic cleared it out.
But without technology in use, the goal was ruled out.
A frustrated Ronaldo was shown a yellow card for his protests at the final whistle, as he angrily walked out from the pitch and angrily threw his captain’s armband to the ground.
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One of the stewards at the stadium picked up the arm band and immediately called on a regional sports channel with the idea of auctioning it for charity.
The steward, who pleaded anonymity, told AFP he took the decision to raise funds required to treat a six-month-old baby, Gavrilo Djurdjevic, who is suffering from a rare disease.
Speaking to AFP by phone, the man said:
“He (Ronaldo) threw the armband three metres away from me, and the idea immediately occurred to me that this (sale) could be a good opportunity,”
“I realised we had some attention and could do something nice for Gavrilo”.
The sports channel Sportklub had to verify the item’s authenticity by checking post-match photos and videos, they joined a charity organisation and put Ronaldo’s armband up for a bidding contest on auctioning website Limundo.com.
Social media manager of Sportklub, Branislav Jocic, told AFP that:
“I hope we will be able to reach Ronaldo himself… so we could help Gavrilo as much as we can”.
The infant is suffering from a disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which affects about one in 10,000 births, and results in death or the need for permanent ventilation by the age of two in 90 per cent of cases.
His life is currently pinned on a one-time gene treatment Zolgensma, which is also known as the “world’s most expensive drug”, the cost for the drug is more than two million euros ($2.35 million).
Fundraising campaigns to assist children that have SMA have recently taken the poor Balkan country by storm, raising the required amounts for five babies last year alone.