Reports: Juventus say refusal to play in US not related to Ronaldo rape allegations
What's the story?
Juventus have reportedly denied reports that they refused to play the United States leg of the International Champions Cup to eliminate chances of Cristiano Ronaldo's detention by American authorities amid his rape allegations.
In case you didn't know...
Recently, a report in The New York Times claimed that the organizers of the ICC have decided to keep Ronaldo away from the US edition of the tournament to avoid the forward's detainment by American authorities in connection with the rape allegations against him.
Juventus will still feature in the ICC but will play in the Asian edition of the competition. The Serie A giants will likely join Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in China and Singapore.
Last year, an American woman named Kathryn Mayorga accused the Juventus star of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel in June 2009. She also alleged that the Portuguese paid her $375,000 for her silence.
Ronaldo has denied the accusations while Juventus have come out in strong defence of their star talisman. The case is currently under investigation by the Las Vegas police.
The heart of the matter
A report in ESPN has claimed that Juventus have responded to reports of the motives behind the move with a source close to Ronaldo telling them it is a matter of "club planning" and nothing more.
Another source revealed, "Every team makes a request as to where it wants to play and this is taken into consideration. It was a preference for Juventus to play in Asia. A team would not change its plans for one player. A lot has to do with sponsorship."
The Italian giants have played the last two editions of the International Champions Cup in the United States, so their decision to switch to the Asian edition has raised eyebrows amid the allegations against Ronaldo.
The reasons for Juventus decision to not play in the United States have not been confirmed and it remains to be seen how the club will react to the reports.