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EURO 2024: Cristiano Ronaldo may be punished by UEFA for ‘ambush marketing’ in Slovenia match

EURO 2024: Cristiano Ronaldo may be punished by UEFA for ‘ambush marketing’ in Slovenia match

Cristiano Ronaldo could be investigated by UEFA over a ‘banned’ act during Portugal’s clash with Slovenia at Euro 2024.

Portugal were held to a goalless draw by Slovenia in their round-of-16 tie, and after extra-time produced no goals, the Euro 2016 winners won 3-0 on penalties.

It’s fair to say that Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo experienced an emotional roller-coaster.

The 39-year-old broke down in tears after he was denied from the penalty spot during extra-time, before redeeming himself by scoring his side’s first spot-kick in the shootout.

However, Ronaldo might have landed himself in trouble with UEFA.

Fitness company WHOOP revealed that, during the game, the superstar wore one of their devices that measures heart rate and athletic performance.

READ ALSO: Drogba Beats Messi, Ronaldo to Clinch UEFA President’s Award

WHOOP subsequently published Ronaldo’s heart rate data on social media as a way of publicising their product.

They wrote: “When you’re @Cristiano, there’s no fear in football. See how CR7 entered a flow state and dropped his heart rate moments before changing momentum of the match against Slovenia. See you in the quarterfinals, Portugal!”

Ronaldo and WHOOP have been accused of ‘ambush marketing’, an illegal practice where a company associates their product or service with an event that already has official sponsors.

As reported by Mail Sport, former head of global sponsorships at Visa and Coca-Cola Ricardo Fort claimed WHOOP’s social media post was a clear example of ambush marketing and should earn both player and company a fine.

He wrote on X: “Cristiano and WHOOP is ambush marketing to Euro 2024. It is illegal and both the player and the company should be fined.

“The post is about a UEFA matches, uses the names of the two national teams playing, score, and a player on the field.

“They are implying an association with the event and that is illegal. Not having ‘a competitor as a sponsor’ isn’t a reason to tolerate infringements.”

A similar incident occurred during Euro 2012 when Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner celebrated a goal by pulling up his shirt to reveal a pair of Paddy Power branded underpants.

Bendtner was fined £80,000 and banned for one competitive international fixture by UEFA.

It’s expected that Portugal will have Ronaldo available for their quarter-final showdown with France on Friday.

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