Explained: Why Cristiano Ronaldo's latest Al-Nassr loss was refereed by Michael Oliver - who earned DOUBLE his Premier League salary with £3k fee

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Michael Oliver Cristiano Ronaldo
Premier League official Michael Oliver was in charge as Cristiano Ronaldo's side lost 2-0 to Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League on Tuesday.
  • Premier League official takes charge of game
  • Oliver earned double his Premier League fee
  • Booked Ronaldo in 2-0 Al-Nassr defeat

WHAT HAPPENED? Oliver was granted permission to fly out to Saudi Arabia to take charge of Ronaldo's team in a league match against Al-Hilal. The referee booked Ronaldo during the match for a WWE-inspired foul in a game which Al-Hilal won 2-0. Odion Ighalo scored both goals and imitated Lionel Messi's iconic celebration on a night where Ronaldo hit the headlines for an obscene gesture after being taunted by fans.

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WHY WAS OLIVER IN CHARGE? PGMOL chief Howard Webb is happy to accept requests for referees to work from foreign associations as he thinks it can be of benefit to the officials, according to the Daily Mail. Oliver was not in Champions League action in midweek, meaning he had time to fly in and out of Riyadh for the fixture before his next match. Oliver is due to referee Liverpol's Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday at Anfield.


Cristiano Ronaldo Michael Oliver

Cristiano Ronaldo 2022-23

Cristiano Ronaldo 2022-23

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Oliver was paid handsomely for his work. The referee earned approximately £3,000, which is roughly double what he'd receive for a Premier League fixture, and also flew business class to and from Riyadh. It's thought Oliver, and other leading Premier League referees, may take charge of more games from overseas associations in the future.

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WHAT NEXT? Al-Nassr's next fixture is a King Cup of Champions semi-final against Al-Wehda on Monday, April 24.