Ronaldo armband sold for over $75,000 to help toddler surgery


Djordje Vukicevic, duty firefighter, poses with Cristiano Ronaldo's armband which the Portugal captain threw on the pitch after his goal was disallowed in a World Cup qualifier against Serbia, at the Belgrade's firefighting brigade headquaters, Serbia, April 1, 2021. Djordje and his colleagues put up for a charity auction the blue armband with a white letter C to collect money for the treatment of a 6-month-old Gavrilo Djurdjevic from Serbia who is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

BELGRADE (Reuters) - The captain's armband which Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo threw away angrily during a World Cup qualifier against Serbia was bought by a betting company at a charity auction to help fund life-saving surgery for a six-month-old baby.

Serbia's Mozzart said in a statement on Friday that it paid 7.5 million dinars ($75,150) for the armband picked up by a fireman at Red Star's Rajko Mitic stadium.

"We decided to take part in the auction because of its humanitarian nature," Mozzart said.

"The objective was to aid toddler Gavrilo Djurdjevic as well as to raise awareness that we need to stand united in taking this kind of action."

Six-month-old Gavrilo Djurdjevic is suffering from spinal atrophy and his mother Nevena said the family had received donations of around 500,000 euros ($587,900) so far.

Ronaldo stormed off the pitch seconds before the final whistle in Serbia's 2-2 home draw with Portugal on Tuesday and threw the armband away when he was denied a clear stoppage-time winner in the 2-2 draw.

Television replays showed Ronaldo's shot had crossed the line before Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic cleared it but with no goalline technology in place, the officials waved play on and then booked Ronaldo for dissent.

($1 = 99.8000 Serbian dinars)

($1 = 0.8505 euros)

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis)

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