- 11-year-old Addison Whelan made headlines by running onto the pitch to hug Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Whelan told Irish media she risked a $3,400 fine, but the Irish FA later withdrew it.
- She said Ronaldo asked her if she was okay before giving her a hug and his match shirt.
A young girl who ran onto the pitch to hug Cristiano Ronaldo revealed she had been fined €3,000 for doing so.
Addison Whelan, 11, found her way onto the pitch and sprinted to Ronaldo after Portugal’s goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland in Thursday night’s World Cup qualifiers.
Security was about to lead her away, but Ronaldo intervened and hugged her before handing over his shirt, sparking roaring applause from the stands and Whelan’s hysterical tears.
Speaking to radio station FM104, according to The Irish Mirror, the daring youngster revealed that she had been fined for her efforts, which her father would pay.
“I was fined for driving onto the field,” she said. “My father is going to pay for it.”
However, on Saturday the Football Association of Ireland released a statement saying it would waive Whelan’s fine.
“The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that young fan Addison Whelan will not be fined for approaching Cristiano Ronaldo,” the statement told ESPN.
FAI spokesman Cathal Dervan added: “We want to reassure Addison that of course she won’t be fined if she runs onto the pitch and asks for Ronaldo’s jersey.”
—Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 11, 2021
Whelan described the incident, saying that getting Ronaldo’s shirt was a dream come true.
“I just yelled Ronaldo’s name. He turned around and he saw me and he told me” [a security guard] to leave me,” she said.
“So then I called him over to me. He came to me. I was just in shock and crying and I was like, ‘Can I have your sweater? Please, please. I’m a big, big fan.’
‘He said, ‘Are you all right?’ When my father saw him take off the shirt, my father’s face was just in shock. I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is it, this is my dream, it’s finally coming true.’
“That was probably his last time playing in Ireland.”