Generally speaking, athletes do not like when fans run out onto the court or field during games. They are seen as a major distraction to players and, in some cases, players have taken matters into their own hands and tackled fans who have invaded the playing field. But Cristiano Ronaldo is taking a different approach to a trespassing fan. He's actually trying to get a fan who ran out onto the field to hug him during a game out of trouble.
The fan—a 19-year-old college student named Ronald Gjoka—jumped onto the field at Sun Life Stadium in Miami back in August during a Real Madrid/Chelsea match to give Ronaldo a hug and to tell him how much he loves him as a player. As a result, the man was arrested, hauled off to jail, and eventually charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. And now, he's preparing to go to trial on Monday to answer to the charges. But Ronaldo actually wants Sun Life Stadium to drop the charges against Gjoka. So he wrote a letter to the Miami-Dade state attorney recently asking that the charges against Gjoka be dismissed.
"My name is Cristiano Ronaldo, and I play football for Real Madrid," he wrote in the letter, which has been authenticated. "I was playing at Sun Life Stadium last month when a fan entered the field. His name is Ronald Gjoka, a young college student. We hugged, and we spoke for a while, until security arrived to escort him off the field. He was not aggressive or violent in ANY way. In addition, he did not resist security or police in any possible way. I am concerned because I understand he may face potential problems with Immigration and with his college if the criminal charges against him are not dismissed…I understand your position and the importance of enforcing rules and laws. However, I respectfully request that you and your office reconsider this decision and dismiss the two criminal charges this young man faces."
At the moment, the state attorney's office is saying that Ronaldo's letter will not help Gjoka get out of trouble. But it was still a nice gesture for Ronaldo to make. We don't know if we agree with Gjoka getting off without any sort of punishment here. After all, he did run onto the pitch right in the middle of a soccer game starring some of the world's biggest stars. But as Ronaldo points out, there was no harm done by him running onto the field. So a minimum punishment is probably best.
[via Miami Herald]