The armband tossed away by an angry Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s match against Serbia last Saturday has sold for more than £50,000 in a charity auction.
Jovan Simic, founder of the humanitarian organisation Zajedno za Zivot (Together for Life), said the discarded armband had been bought by a betting firm for the “great figure of 7.5million dinars”.
That amounts to around £54,300 and the funds will go towards paying for treatment for a Serbian six-month-old boy, Gavrilo Djurdjevic. According to Serbian news reports, the young child has spinal muscular atrophy and the treatment he requires will cost over €2million, with a major fundraising campaign under way.
Firefighter Djordje Vukicevic, at pitchside for the game, was able to pick up the armband and donate it for auction.
Portugal superstar Ronaldo flung it away and stormed off the pitch in Belgrade in the closing moments of the March 27 match, having felt he was wronged by a decision to disallow his last-gasp effort.
Ronaldo was certain the ball had crossed the line, but officials disagreed as Serbia rallied from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw in the World Cup qualifier. The 36-year-old forward was booked for his protestations.
Simic added: “Congratulations to firefighter Djordje and his colleagues, as well as to all the wonderful people who helped!”
The auction was blighted by fake bids, Serbian news reports said, before the Mozzart Bet company made its winning offer.
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