Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has been served with court papers related to a rape lawsuit in the United States, according to documents filed by his lawyers on Friday.
Five-time world player of the year Ronaldo is accused of rape by Kathryn Mayorga, who claims the Portuguese soccer star assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
Ronaldo, 34, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player, has strongly denied the accusations against him, insisting their encounter was consensual.
The legal process in the civil case had been held up as “federal court’s rules on serving foreigners” meant an identical state-level case needed to be dropped, Mayorga’s attorney said last week.
A motion filed in federal court in Nevada on Friday said “the parties have agreed to deem Defendant effectively served,” meaning Ronaldo has officially received court documents in the case, allowing it to move forward.
Former model Mayorga made the accusations against Ronaldo, who now lives in Turin, in a complaint filed last year.
She said that while she had agreed to a financial settlement with Ronaldo shortly after the alleged incident, her emotional trauma at the time did not allow her to participate in the mediation process.
Mayorga’s attorney added that the model agreed to an out-of-court settlement to keep her name from going public, but was inspired to speak out by the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
Ronaldo’s lawyers have said that the non-disclosure agreement signed with Mayorga was “by no means a confession of guilt”.
Following her renewed accusations, Las Vegas police reopened an investigation last year.
Ronaldo is widely considered one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game, having won the Champions League title five times — once with Manchester United and four times with Real Madrid.
He also led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title in France.
Nigeria beat Cameroon to reach Quarter-Finals
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, after defeating the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 3-2 in Alexandria.
Odion Ighalo scored a brace, and Alex Iwobi got one goal to book Nigeria a match next Wednesday with the winner between Egypt and South Africa.
Buhari urges Super Eagles to honour Nigeria in AFCON
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Super Eagles to play every match for the honour of their motherland as they file out in their first match against Burundi in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019), holding in Egypt.
The President, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday, urged the Eagles to lift the flag of Nigeria high, and reinforce the reputation of the country as a football powerhouse on the continent.
He said: “I will be watching, just as millions of Nigerians would also do.
“You have our solid support, and we will cheer you to victory,”he said.
He added: “Nigerians are known for their unconquerable spirit. Show this in the group stages, and even beyond. Nothing but lifting of the diadem is good enough for our country,”he stated.
He also enjoined the Super Eagles to be mindful of fair play, and sportsman like conduct, as they strive to return home with the AFCON trophy.
FIFA to take over CAF over alleged corruption
A drastic and dramatic overhaul of African football is expected to be announced on Thursday, the eve of the kickoff of the African Cup of Nations, in the wake of corruption scandals consuming the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The CAF executive committee took a stunning decision on Wednesday to cede control of the running of the organisation and have FIFA general secretary, Fatma Samoura parachuted in as “FIFA High Commissioner for Africa”, according to sources.
No announcement has been made by African football’s governing body but CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad is scheduled to hold a press conference in Cairo on Thursday at 0900 GMT.
Ahmad, who is the subject of an ethics investigation by FIFA after allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct, proposed the idea in a document shared with colleagues on the executive committee, the sources said.
Samoura is to lead a FIFA team that will conduct “a root-and-branch review of governance of the confederation, oversee operational management of the organisation, and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts,” the document read.
“This will be done in order to put CAF itself on a modern and sound footing, improve its image and reputation and thus ensure that CAF is better equipped to face future challenges and to grasp future opportunities.”
FIFA are to also undertake a forensic audit of the monies they have been giving CAF.
The idea of sending Samoura to Africa is said to have been put together by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF vice president Amaju Pinnick in the wake of Ahmad’s brief detention by French police last week for questioning on corruption allegations.
Ahmad, who is seeking to hold onto some semblance of power or even walk away from his post without sanction, had been forced to accept the deal and then propose it to his own colleagues, CAF sources told Reuters on Thursday.
With FIFA seeking to improve football’s image, the Ahmad controversy has come as major embarrassment to Infantino, who has been claiming a new-look, clean and corruption-free FIFA.
Ahmad, by virtue of his position as leader of African football, is automatically a FIFA vice president.
African football has been rocked not only by the firing of CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy for whistle blowing, but also a walk off in the Champions League final and the alleged assault on a referee by another of CAF’s vice presidents.
The Cup of Nations kicks off in Cairo on Friday when hosts Egypt take on Zimbabwe,