Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is under investigation for breaking coronavirus rules when he flew home from Portugal to Italy after testing positive for the illness.
Ronaldo tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Portugal earlier this month and took a private air ambulance to his house in Italy.
When asked whether Ronaldo had breached Covid-19 rules, Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora told Rai Radio: “Yes, I think so, if there were no specific authorisations from the health authority.”
And now Spadafora has said the Juventus star ‘did not respect’ protocols with his flight home while infected – and ‘no one is exempt’.
“Cristiano did not respect the protocol. There is an investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office to prove it,” Spadafora told Rai Tre.
“The virus has taught us that no one is exempt, obviously they are all people who have tried to respect the protocols as much as possible, but the only solution in the end is to stay at home.”
Ronaldo had dismissed Spadafora’s claim, claiming he complied with all necessary procedures
The 35-year-old said on Instagram on October 16: “I’m always at home, now I’m sunbathing, also to let the days pass. I’m respecting the protocol, I did not break it, as has been said: It’s a lie.
“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.”
Ronaldo also added: “My family is on another floor of the house, we can’t be in contact.”
His club Juventus had already defended Ronaldo after he returned to Italy, saying that his flight was authorised by the health authorities.
“Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Italy with a medical flight authorised by the competent health authorities at the request of the player and will continue his isolation at his home,” Juventus said in a statement.
Ronaldo has been self-isolating but tested positive for coronavirus for a second time last Thursday, throwing into doubt his participation in Juventus’ Champions League opener against Barcelona this week.
UEFA protocol means Ronaldo needed to have tested negative a week before the game in order to face rival Lionel Messi for the first time since he left Real Madrid.
But Juventus filed a medical report to UEFA arguing that the player’s test showed a very low viral load, which — if he gets a negative result from another test — should mean he is still allowed to play.