Published time: 22 Jul, 2019 11:12 Edited time: 22 Jul, 2019 11:23
The Juventus womens team were forbidden to talk about the rape allegations against mens star Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former player Petronella Ekroth.
Swedish defender Ekroth, 29, recently left the Serie A women’s champions to return to her homeland, and has opened up on life in Turin.
“We weren't allowed to talk about [the Ronaldo case],” she told Swedish outlet Expressen.
“The only thing was to keep a low profile and work for the club's values. In this way you become very closed and I felt that my own opinions didn't count.
“I felt a bit trapped in there, I thought a lot, ‘What can I do? What can't I do? Who am I?’"
“I think they had a bit of difficulty with wanting to have opinions and I think maybe that was why I had it a bit tougher than others. For me, it is important to tell if I think something is wrong and I stand for it,” she added.
Portuguese forward Ronaldo is accused of raping US woman Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 – allegations that the player vehemently denies.
Reports in June stated that the 34-year-old footballer had been formally served with court papers over the case, after Mayorga’s legal team switched the proceedings to a US federal court.
Ronaldo has said he is confident that his name will be cleared.
When the claims surfaced last year, Juventus faced criticism for their initial reponse in which they praised him as a "great champion."Also on rt.com Juventus criticized for tweets backing great champion Ronaldo as player fights rape claims
Swedish star Ekroth returned to her homeland this summer after spending one season in Italy, during which she helped Juve to the women’s Serie A title.
She has rejoined Djurgardens, whom she left to sign with Juventus, and will also work as a TV pundit.