Cristiano Ronaldo will not play for his Portugal national team in at least 2 upcoming games while he battles rape allegations in the United States.
Ronaldo was left off Portugal’s national team squad for a pair of upcoming matches, the decision coming Thursday as the soccer great fights rape allegations in the United States.
Ronaldo has been accused of rape by Kathryn Mayorga, who says the player assaulted her in Las Vegas in 2009. He has denied the accusation.
The 33-year-old superstar reportedly met with Portugal coach Fernando Santos and Portuguese federation president Fernando Gomes and collectively agreed it was best for Ronaldo to step away for a few games.
While they have not released a statement specifically connecting the absence to the rape case — it’s pretty obvious.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos said Ronaldo also will not be called up for the next round of international games in November.
Santos said the decision was taken after a three-way conversation between him, Ronaldo and the head of the Portuguese soccer federation.
“We agreed the player wouldn’t be available, wouldn’t be an option for selection,” Santos said. “For the next two squad selections, this one and the one next month, Ronaldo won’t be with us.”
Santos refused to give details of the conversation, nor would he comment on Ronaldo’s state of mind, saying the information was private and personal.