Italy has requested Brazil extradite embattled football star, Robinho, to serve a nine-year jail term for gang raping an Albanian woman in a nightclub in Milan.
Judges at the Court of Cassation in Rome had confirmed the sentence for the offense, which dates back to January 2013 when the 37-year-old was playing for AC Milan.
Robinho exercised his right to appeal his rape conviction, but it has been upheld by multiple Italian courts, most recently the Supreme Court of Cassation in January this year.
In February, prosecutors in Milan forwarded the request for extradition and the arrest warrant to the ministry of justice, Italy’s ANSA and AGI news agencies reported.
Jacopo Gnocchi, the lawyer for the victim, told the press that it made no difference to his client whether Robinho served his sentence in Italy or Brazil.
“The main thing is he serves it, particularly for the crime committed, to protect women,” he said.
Reports noted that while Brazil’s constitution bans the extradition of its citizens, the international warrant means Robinho could be at risk of arrest if he travels elsewhere.
Television channel Globo Sports released excerpts of a recording Italian prosecutors used to secure their conviction, in which the player purportedly says, “I’m laughing because I don’t care. The woman was completely drunk. She doesn’t even know what happened.”
The former Manchester City footballer was among a group of six men accused of taking part in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman in a Milan nightclub.
They were both ordered to jointly pay the woman damages of 60,000 euros ($73,000).
Despite the ruling, he has continued to deny knowledge of the event.
Robinho started his career at Santos in 2002 and joined Real Madrid in 2005, then going on to play for Manchester City from 2008 to 2010, and Milan for four years until 2014.
He also played in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, Atletico Mineiro in Spain, and the Turkish club İstanbul Basaksehir. He has 100 Brazil caps and 28 goals for his country.