Patron Andrea Agnelli had already distanced Juventus from the commotion as Cristiano Ronaldo and Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora continued to fight it out in a public spat on Friday.
The Portugal international reportedly broke the Juventus bubble to travel for the national break with Portugal at the start of the month and tested positive whilst on international duty.
But Ronaldo returned to Italy and is currently quarantined in Turin, but was accused of violating the protocol, something Minister of Sport Spadafora highlighted when asked about the Old Lady forward on Radio Rai1.
“Yes, I think so,” Spadafora said when asked if Ronaldo had broken the protocol. “Unless there haven’t been any specific authorisations from the health authority.”
When Juventus patron Andrea Agnelli was asked if their star player had violated the health protocol in place, he distanced Juventus from any blame, insisting that the club ‘respected the protocol’ and added that Ronaldo was responsible for his own actions when he left the bubble.
“When a player leaves here, he becomes a free citizen. If he travels at 150mph and is caught, I can’t be the one who tells you why it happened,” Agnelli said and pointed the question in the Minister’s direction.
And Spadafora has backed Agnelli by admitting that Juventus followed the protocol and reported the players who had broken the bubble to the local health authority, but Ronaldo wanted to have his say.
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo said Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora was telling lies about him ‘breaking the protocol’ and posted a video on Instagram where he insisted he was ‘respecting the protocol’ at home.
“I did not break it, as has been said: It’s a lie,” Ronaldo said in the video. “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.”
This is part of the confusion, as Spadafora is talking about the fact Ronaldo left the bubble for international duty when Juventus were isolating. The controversy is not over his return from Portugal, which had been pre-agreed with all the relevant authorities.
The Minister of Sport responded to Ronaldo’s response by asking for a less ‘arrogant’ conduct by the Portugal international.
“The skills of a certain player don’t authorise them to be arrogant, disrespectful to the institutions and to lie,” he said. “Indeed, the more one is known, the more one should feel the responsibility to think before one speaks and to set a good example.”
The Minister of Sport continued to say he had ‘no intention’ of continuing to comment on the issue, but stated he still stands by his own accusation from yesterday.
Agnelli, on the other hand, has managed to get on the good side of Spadafora, clarifying that if Ronaldo has violated the protocol, the Old Lady are not involved.
“Juve apply the federal protocol. I’m a sports manager, I don’t know if he has violated a state law,” Agnelli said at a press conference.
“We entered the bubble on Saturday and we entered fiduciary isolation having no competitions to play. We told players that who wanted could go home to self-isolate. The bubble was not broken, They could decide to go and they are free citizens.”