Robinho: Ex-Man City footballer will serve nine-year prison sentence in Brazil for rape

Ex-Manchester City footballer Robinho has been told by judges he must serve a nine-year prison sentence for rape in Brazil.

In 2017, Robinho was sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for his part in a group sexual assault in 2013 when he played for AC Milan.

Brazil does not extradite nationals, which led Italy to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.

A Brazilian court has now ruled that he must serve out the prison sentence in Brazil - judges on Brazil's Superior Court of Justice voted 9-2 to validate Robinho's conviction.

He could still appeal to his country's Supreme Court. Jose Eduardo Alckmin, Robinho's lawyer, told the court at the beginning of Wednesday's hearing that his client wanted a retrial in Brazil on grounds of national sovereignty.

Robinho, 40, shot to fame in England following a £32.5m move to Man City in 2008, on the day the club were bought out by an investment company run by Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mansour.

The Brazilian footballer would later move on to AC Milan.

The first judge to vote on the Brazillian court, Francisco Falcao, said Robinho should serve his sentence in Brazil.

He added that the former player cannot go unpunished and that diplomatic friction between Brazil and Italy could emerge if the sentence is not served.

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Judge Falcao said: "There's no obstacle to validate the execution of his sentence. It was confirmed by a court in Milan, which is the competent authority in this case. The conviction is final. The defendant was not put on trial in absence in Italy, he had representation."

Robinho, who lives in Santos, outside Sao Paulo, surrendered his passport to Brazilian authorities in March last year.

He continues to deny any wrongdoing and insists his sexual relations with the woman at a Milan bar were consensual.