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11th Sep 2021

Ronaldo plane protest: Feminist group flies banner over Old Trafford

Reuben Pinder

Cristiano Ronaldo has strongly denied the allegations

Feminist campaign group Level Up flew a plane over Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, displaying a message on a banner that read: “Believe Kathryn Mayorga.”

Kathryn Mayorga accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Ronaldo has always strongly denied the allegations, issuing a statement in 2018 saying: “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”

The protest was timed to coincide with Ronaldo’s second Manchester United debut after he rejoined the club this summer, 12 years after leaving them for Real Madrid.

Level Up said the intention of the protest was to “disrupt the fanfare” around Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford and remind the world of the allegations made against him.

In 2019, US prosecutors said Ronaldo, who denied the claims, would not face charges.

Ronaldo enjoyed a successful return to his old stomping ground on Saturday, scoring twice in a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United. The home side’s other goals came from his compatriot, Bruno Fernandes, and Jesse Lingard.