Robinho must serve nine-year prison sentence in Brazil

Former Manchester City forward Robinho must serve his nine-year prison sentence in Brazil as a result of his 2017 rape conviction in Italy, a Brazilian high court ruled on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old denies any wrongdoing and insists his sexual relations with a woman at a bar in Milan were consensual. Robinho can appeal to Brazil’s Supreme Court.

Judges on Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice voted 9-2 to validate the conviction of the striker who also played for Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Robinho was sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for his part in a group sexual assault in 2013 when he played for AC Milan.

Brazil doesn’t extradite nationals, which led Italy to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.

Robinho’s lawyer, Jos Eduardo Alckmin, told the court at the start of Wednesday’s hearing that his client wants a retrial in Brazil on the grounds of national sovereignty.

Francisco Falco, the first judge to vote, said Robinho should serve his sentence in Brazil. He added that the former player cannot go unpunished and that diplomatic friction between Brazil and Italy could emerge if the sentence is not served.

“There’s no obstacle to validate the execution of his sentence. It was confirmed by a court in Milan, which is the competent authority in this case,” Falco said. “The conviction is final. The defendant was not put on trial in absence in Italy, he had representation.”

Robinho lives in Santos, outside Sao Paulo. He relinquished his passport to Brazilian authorities in March 2023.

He was capped 100 times by Brazil and became the most expensive player in British football when he joined City from Real for £32.5m in 2008.

However, he struggled to adapt to the Premier League and was sold to AC Milan for just £15m two years later after a loan spell at his hometown club Santos.

Robinho spent four seasons at the San Siro, during which the offence took place, before moving to Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015.

He spent just one season in China before moving back to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro in 2016.

He then had spells at Turkish clubs Sivasspor and Istanbul Basaksehir, before rejoining Santos in October 2020 but did not play for the club following backlash from sponsors and supporters.

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