Italian prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for former Brazil forward Robinho and asked for his extradition following confirmation of his conviction for gang rape, news agencies reported.
Judges at Italy’s top court, the Court of Cassation in Rome, upheld a nine-year sentence last month for the footballer’s part in an attack on a young woman in January 2013, when Robinho was playing for AC Milan.
The 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.
Neither prosecutors nor the ministry immediately responded to an AFP request for comment.
Jacopo Gnocchi, the lawyer for the victim, told AFP 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.
The media 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.
The now 38-year-old, capped 100 times for Brazil, was among a group of six men accused of taking part in the rape of an Albanian woman celebrating her 23rd birthday in a Milan nightclub.
Robinho started his career at Santos in 2002 and joined Real Madrid in 2005, 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 Brazil and Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir.
In October 2020 Robinho was forced to abandon a move back to his first club Santos amid pressure put on the Brazilian giants by sponsors.
Last year in November, Manchester City and France international Benjamin Mendy appeared in court as he was charged with two additional counts of rape.
The 27-year-old defender was facing six allegations of rape and one of sexual assault after the new charges were added as well.
The offenses were alleged to be committed on four women over the age of 16 at his home in Prestbury, northwest England, between October 2020 and August this year.
Mendy appeared via videolink before magistrates in Manchester from custody where he was held since he was charged in August.
Another man, Louis Saha Matturie, 40, was facing six counts of rape and one of sexual assault and appeared alongside Mendy.
No application for bail was made and the pair were remanded in custody. A trial date has been set for January 24 next year.
Mendy was a £52 million ($70 million) signing from Monaco in 2017 and has played 75 times for City but his playing time has been limited by injuries and a loss of form.
The last of his 10 caps for France came in November 2019.
The left-back won the World Cup with France in 2018. He has been suspended by the Premier League champions pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.