Brazilian side Santos has suspended the contract of star footballer Robinho after a sponsor referred to the player’s previous sexual assault case and severed ties with the club.
In 2017, the former Manchester City striker was sentenced to nine years in prison by an Italian court for his involvement in the 2013 rape of a 22-year-old woman in a nightclub. Robinho has appealed the ruling and the case continues.
The 36-year-old Robinho started his career at Santos before playing at Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan, among others. This should be his third assignment with Santos.
Brazilian orthodontics franchise Orthopride announced this week that it had terminated its sponsorship deal with Santos “out of respect for women” after the club announced Robinho would sign.
Richard Magrath, Orthopride’s Chief Operating Officer, told Globo Esporte, “We have tremendous respect for Santos’ history. At this point, however, we decided to terminate the sponsorship agreement.
“Our audience is mostly women, and out of respect for the women who buy our products, we had to make that choice. We want to make it clear that we have not yet been informed of Robinho’s signature. We were surprised by the news over the weekend. ”
Robinho posted a video on Twitter that was retweeted on several media websites saying, “With a lot of sadness in my heart, I come to tell you that I made the decision with the President to suspend my contract at this troubled time in my life.
“My goal has always been to help Santos Futebol Clube. If in any way I’m getting in the way, I better get out and focus on my personal stuff. For the fans of Peixão and those who like me, I will prove my innocence.”