Soccer  

Ronaldo faces Al Nassr debut delay after electric blow out

Cristiano Ronaldo faces a 24-hour wait to discover whether his debut for Al Nassr will be delayed until the end of January after the Saudi Arabian club’s league game against Al Tae’e on Thursday was postponed due to heavy rain causing an electrical fault at their Mrsool Park stadium.

Al Nassr are attempting to re-arrange the game for Friday, but a failure to do so will deny Ronaldo the chance to serve the first game of his two-match suspension.

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In a statement, Al Nassr said: “Due to heavy rain and weather conditions impacting the stadium’s electricity, we have been officially informed that tonight’s match against Al Tae’e is postponed for 24 hours.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to fans and wish everyone safe travels.”

Ronaldo, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal worth $75 million-a-year at Al Nassr on Dec. 30, is pencilled in to make his debut for the Saudi Pro League side against Al-Ettifaq on Jan. 22 once he completes a two-match suspension imposed by the English Football Association in November for knocking a phone out of an Everton fan’s hand in a game with Manchester United at Goodison Park last season.

Despite the ban being laid down by the English FA, FIFA rules state that suspensions imposed by national associations must still be served by players in the event of a transfer to a different country before the ban has been completed. Ronaldo’s ban was confirmed after his United contract was cancelled during the World Cup.

With the 37-year-old unable to play against Al Tae’e or in the Jan. 14 fixture against Riyadh rivals Al Shabab, Ronaldo’s first opportunity to play for Al Nassr will be against Al-Ettifaq at Mrsool Park on Jan. 22.

But if the game against Al Tae’e cannot be re-scheduled for Friday and the game does not go ahead, Ronaldo’s suspension would then cover the games against Al Shabab and Al-Ettifaq, leaving him waiting for his debut until the Saudi Super Cup semifinal against Al Ittihad in Jeddah on Jan. 25.