LISBON, Portugal (AFP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has been given the backing of the Portuguese football federation president (FPF) as he fights accusations of rape.
Real Madrid and Portugal star Ronaldo on Wednesday firmly denied claims by a former American model that he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
And FPF president Fernando Gomes spoke up on Wednesday to offer his support to the embattled 33-year-old.
“I believe what he said… because I’ve known Ronaldo for many years and I can attest to his good character,” Gomes said.
Gomes added that he stands in “total solidarity with Cristiano Ronaldo at a moment in which his reputation under question”.
Ronaldo was left out of the national team announced on Thursday for upcoming international matches, although his absence is not believed to be linked to the allegations that threaten the reputation of the five-time world player of the year.
Ronaldo on Wednesday issued a statement to vehemently deny allegations by former model Kathryn Mayorga, who claims Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” he tweeted in Portuguese and English.
“Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” said the 33-year-old Juventus forward.
“My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations,” he added on his Twitter feed @Cristiano, which has nearly 75 million followers.
Ronaldo’s denial came as lawyers for his accuser said they had obtained damning correspondence between the footballer and his legal team.