SAO PAULO — Ronaldo will go on trial at a Brazilian sports tribunal next week for pulling the hair and pinching an opponent in a Brazilian league match.
The three-time world player of the year could miss up to three matches if found guilty, the sports tribunal said on Thursday.
The 32-year-old Ronaldo was denounced after TV images showed him grabbing the hair and pinching defender Fahel in a ball dispute inside the area last Sunday in Corinthians' scoreless draw against Botafogo at Engenhao Stadium.
Ronaldo was retaliating for Fahel grabbing his jersey. The referee did not see the play and none of the players received cards. Ronaldo complained he was fouled and deserved a penalty kick.
"Without a doubt, Ronaldo is a phenomenon ... ," sports tribunal prosecutor Paulo Schmitt said. "But all players are equal to the tribunal and when they do something wrong they must be denounced."
Fahel told local media he could testify in favor of Ronaldo if requested.
"I think he was just upset at the time," Fahel said. "What happens on the field should stay there."
Ronaldo returned to Brazilian football in March after more than a year sidelined because of the third serious knee injury of his career. He has scored 10 goals with four-time national champion Corinthians.
Fans have been calling for his return to the national team, but he wasn't summoned by coach Dunga on Thursday for next month's World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup. Ronaldo helped Brazil win the 1994 and the 2002 World Cups.
Ronaldo was held scoreless in a 2-2 draw against Fluminense in the Brazilian Cup on Wednesday at Maracana, a result that allowed Corinthians to advance to the semifinals after winning the first leg 1-0 last week in Sao Paulo.
Ronaldo sustained a minor right leg muscle injury during the match and was expected to miss the team's Brazilian league game against Barueri on Saturday. Corinthians was winless after two matches.