Italian minister for sport Vincenzo Spadafora has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo is being investigated for a potential breach of COVID-19 rules for returning to Italy despite testing returning a positive test.
Ronaldo pulled out of the Portugal squad in the latest round of international fixtures two weeks ago after testing positive for coronavirus and subsequently served his self-isolation period.
Spadafora stated on 15 October that he believed the Juventus forward had broken protocol by returning to Italy to isolate via a private air ambulance: “Without authorisation from the health authorities, I think he has violated the protocol.”
He has since added, telling Italian media (quoted by the Daily Star) that Ronaldo is being investigated: “Cristiano did not respect the protocol. There is an investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office to prove it.”
Spadafora then stressed the importance of taking the virus seriously, claiming that ‘no one is exempt’ and reaffirming the importance of staying at home.
Ronaldo took another test last week following Juventus’ games against Crotone and Dynamo Kiev which came back positive, ruling him out of their 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona at the weekend. He now looks set to miss out in their Champions League clash with Barcelona on Tuesday night, unless he can return a negative result 24 hours before the game.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has responded to the claim of him breaking protocol, however, defending his actions over an Instagram Live video – quoted by AS – and saying that he has complied with rules: “I’m respecting the protocol, I did not break it, as has been said: It’s a lie.”
He added: “I returned from Portugal because my team and I made sure to comply with all the procedures. I returned to Italy by air ambulance and I have had no contact with anyone, even in Turin.”
Spadafora has since been quoted as calling Ronaldo ‘arrogant’ in a war of words between the two key figures. Italy has once again had to close stadiums to fans as a result of growing cases throughout the country, meaning Serie A games and all other sporting events will continue behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.