By 90Min
March 21, 2019

Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo will reportedly avoid a visit to the United States this summer amid concerns of the risk that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner could be arrested as part of an ongoing rape investigation in Las Vegas if he touches down on American soil.

Ronaldo stands accused of raping a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room in the summer of 2009, shortly before completing a world record move from Manchester United to Real Madrid, and later buying her silence for a reported $375,000.

AFP/GettyImages

The investigation was reopened by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department last year, while German newspaper Der Spiegel published documents, obtained from the Football Leaks platform, related to the case and in support of the victim's claims.

Ronaldo and his representatives have strongly denied the rape allegations, even threatening legal action against Der Spiegel for publishing the story and documents.

Juventus might have been expected to travel to the United States this coming summer for the annual International Champions Cup pre-season tournament, having done so in 2017 and 2018.

But, according to a New York Times report, event organisers will instead keep the Italian giants away from the U.S. arm of the competition and have them play their games in the smaller Asian section, most likely visiting China and Singapore.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Having consulted people familiar with the schedule, the NY Times claim that Ronaldo's legal troubles 'played a role in shaping plans for Juventus's participation'.

But a comment from a Juve spokesperson in the same report suggested 'going east' was normal, seemingly playing down any influence that off-field matters may have had in the choice.

Juve's first ICC games back in 2016 were played in Australia.

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