Cristiano Ronaldo and Italian soccer club Juventus will reportedly steer clear of the United States this summer during the International Champions Cup amid an ongoing investigation into rape allegations against the soccer star in the U.S.
Most of the games in the tournament will be played in the United States, but Juventus is set to participate in an Asian version of the annual event alongside Premier League teams Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
The New York Times reports the decision to place Juventus in the Asian portion of the international tournament was driven in part by Ronaldo's legal troubles in the United States.
According to Tariq Panja of the Times, "Juventus has a multiyear agreement to play in the International Champions Cup, which is organized by New York-based Relevent Sports. Ronaldo’s legal troubles played a role in shaping plans for Juventus’s participation, according to people familiar with this summer’s schedule."
The tournament's official schedule will be released next week.
Authorities in Las Vegas issued a warrant for Cristiano Ronaldo's DNA in January in order to see if it matches that on the dress of a woman who accused him of rape. The warrant was reportedly sent to Italy where Ronaldo currently plays for Juventus.
Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit against Ronaldo on September 27 alleging that the Portuguese soccer star raped her in Las Vegas in 2009. She was reportedly paid by Ronaldo to keep quiet after the alleged incident, but Mayorga went public with her accusation in a detailed story in Der Spiegel two days after filing the lawsuit.
The Las Vegas Police Department reopened its investigation into a sexual assault case from June 13, 2009, involving Mayorga in early October in light of the interview. Authorities asked for Ronaldo's DNA in January to see if it matches that found on Mayorga's dress from the 2009 night in question.
Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in July after nine years with Real Madrid, has maintained his innocence in all public comments and statements since the accusation was published, initially dismissing the story as "fake news" in a casual Instagram Live video before issuing more formal statements through his representation.
"Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in 2009 in Las Vegas was consensual in nature," Ronaldo's lawyer Peter Christiansen wrote in a statement in October.
The forward also denied the allegations in a pair of tweets posted in October, saying he would not "feed the media spectacle" and will "await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations." Juventus has also publicly tweeted its support for Ronaldo.