What's the story?
Former Juventus Women's team defender Petronella Ekroth has said that players were "forbidden to talk about" Cristiano Ronaldo's rape case by the club.
Ekroth, 29, played for Juventus' women's side last term as they won a Serie A and Coppa Italia double.
The defender has now returned to her native Sweden to play for Djurgardens.
In case you didn't know...
Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid last summer and won the Supercoppa Italiana and the Serie A in his debut season with the Old Lady.
In October last year, just months after Ronaldo made his debut in the famous Black and White jersey, Las Vegas PD had reopened an investigation into Kathryn Mayorga's 2009 accusation that Ronaldo raped her in a hotel room.
The 34-year-old star continues to deny the accusations and even Juventus have come out in his support soon after the case reopened last year.
He said soon after the story caught on with the media: (via The Guardian)
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in."
The heart of the matter...
In an interview with Expressen, Ekroth lamented the fact that Juventus had asked all the players at the club, herself included to remain tight-lipped over the rape allegation, something she did not agree with.
Ronaldo the most expensive Serie A player, is arguably the biggest star in Serie A at the moment and justifiably Juve would like to keep their distance from anything that tarnishes their image.
So, it is only natural that they forbade their own players from discussing the matter, which might create undue tension in the training camp.
Ekroth told Expressen: (via Yahoo Sports)
“We were forbidden to talk about the [Ronaldo rape]case. We stayed silent and we couldn’t mention it. The only thing to do was keep a low profile and work towards the club’s values."
As of the latest development on the case, the lawsuit filed last year in Nevada accusing has been dropped so it can be moved to federal court on June 4.
Juventus lost their first match of pre-season against Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in the International Champions Cup, in which Ronaldo scored.
They now face Italian rivals Inter Milan in their next fixture on 24 July.
Paul Merson predicts Man City vs Liverpool and other Premier League GW 29 fixtures! Click here