Portugal Considers Revoking Ronaldo’s Honours After Tax Fraud Fine

Juventus’ forward and former Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo leaves with his Spanish girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after attending a courtroom hearing for tax evasion in Madrid on January 22, 2019.   PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

Portugal is considering tugging Cristiano Ronaldo’ s public honours after he was fined millions simply by Spain for committing tax fraud while at Real Madrid, the country’ t president said on Thursday.

Five-time Ballon d’ Or winner Ronaldo was awarded the Grand Cross of the Portuguese Purchase of Merit in 2016 when the national team won the European Tournament, but on Tuesday was ordered by a Spanish court to pay 3. 57 million euros ($4. 1 million), part of a broader 18. 8-million-euro pay out.

He was handed a two-year jail sentence that was instantly reduced to a fine of 365, 000 euros and another penalty associated with 3. 2 million euros, according to the sentence.

“ The law is very easy: it is up to the chancellors of the national orders to see if anything has occurred that could lead to the loss of honour, ” President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa informed reporters.

This means it would be the current chancellor of Portugal’ s municipal Order of Merit, one of several branches of the country’ s honours system, to choose whether the 33-year-old’ s conviction is enough to strip him of his honor.

“ We should let those with the legal power to decide to do this and see whether the law applies or not in this case. ”

However , the particular Juventus attacker’ s honours from his home island of Madeira secure. Ronaldo received the Madeira Medal of Merit, the autonomous region’ ersus highest honour, in December 2014 before the inauguration of a bronze statue in his similarity at Madeira airport.

“ Here in Madeira, Cristiano Ronaldo is definitely seen as a good person … He is not a criminal, ” said regional leader Miguel Albuquerque, who dismissed Ronaldo’ s conviction as an “ interpretation of the tax issue”.

“ He is the most prestigious Portuguese in the world, ” he added.

AFP