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Cristiano Ronaldo won’t play for Portugal amid rape investigation

October 4, 2018

The Portuguese national team left global soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo off its final roster for two matches this month after an investigation into a rape allegation against Ronaldo was reopened.

Ronaldo will not play for Portugal in a UEFA Nations League match next week against Poland or an international friendly with Scotland a few days later. Portugal’s coach also said he does not plan to play Ronaldo in two UEFA Nations League matches in November, either.

″[Portuguese Football Federation] President Fernando Gomes and I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo and we considered it best for the player not to be included in this and November’s call-ups,” coach Fernando Santos said at a news conference, according to ESPN.

Ronaldo is the subject of a rape allegation in Las Vegas from 2009. The Las Vegas Police Department recently reopened its investigation as the alleged victim, Kathryn Mayorga, filed a civil suit against Ronaldo and felt empowered by the #MeToo movement to seek justice.

Ronaldo has denied the allegations, recently accusing Mayorga in an Instagram video of seeking attention.

“They want to be famous, to say my name,” he said in the video, which he later deleted. He continued to defend himself via Twitter:

I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense. Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018

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