Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the Portugal football squad for the upcoming matches against Poland in the UEFA Nations League and a friendly against Scotland. The exclusion has come a few days after a former model accused the Juventus FC star of rape.
Kathryn Mayorga, 34, has alleged that Ronaldo assaulted her in Las Vegas in 2009. The 33-year-old striker has denied the allegations. Ronaldo, hitting out in a statement of his own, condemning the "people seeking to promote themselves at my expense ".
Las Vegas police has reopened investigation into the allegation while Ronaldo has maintained he is innocent, adding that his "clear conscience" allows him to calmly await "the results of any and all investigations".
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Meanwhile, Portugal coach Fernando Santos did not include the World Cup captain in the squad that will travel to Poland for a UEFA Nations League tie on October 11, followed by a friendly in Glasgow against Scotland three days later.
Ronaldo apparently spoke to Santos and to the Portuguese football federation president, Fernando Gomes, conveying that he would like to stay away from national duty for a while.
“We agreed the player wouldn’t be available, wouldn’t be an option for selection,” coach Santos was quoted by the Telegraph. “For the next two squad selections, this one and the one next month, Ronaldo won’t be with us.”
Meanwhile, Juventus has made an official statement as well, extending support to their star player and hinting that he may not be available for national duty for the rest of 2018, weathering the story which began after Mayorga filed a lawsuit against Ronaldo.
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The former model is seeking to void a non-disclosure agreement of $375,000, alleging that she was coerced into signing it. Mayorga claimed the footballer raped her in a Last Vegas hotel penthouse suite in June 2009 and is seeking $200,000 in damages.
Ronaldo’s business interests might also take a hit with the allegations. According to a report by the Associated Press, Nike, which has a contract of around $1 billion with the footballer has said it would "continue to closely monitor the situation".
EA Sports, which also has a huge contract with Ronaldo, has hinted of being wary of the whole episode. "We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo,” the gaming giants told AP. “We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA's values."
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