UNICEF says Ronaldo is not ambassador of the agency

May 5, 2008

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- A day after Ronaldo claimed in a TV interview to have worked as an ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nation's children's agency said the Brazilian soccer star has no official link to the organization.

In an interview on Brazil's Globo TV on Sunday, Ronaldo said his encounter with prostitutes last week will "not interfere" with his post as a UNICEF ambassador.

"Nothing will get in the way of my position as an ambassador," Ronaldo said.

In a statement on its Brazilian Web site, UNICEF on Monday said Ronaldo "is not and has never been an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund and has no official link with this agency. The recent mentions to UNICEF's name in the media are a mistake."

Ronaldo's spokesman could not be immediately contacted Monday.

The AC Milan striker said he wasn't aware the prostitutes were cross-dressers until he got to a motel and discovered they were men.

Police are investigating the alleged extortion attempt, but have said Ronaldo committed no crime. Prostitution is legal in Brazil.

Ronaldo, who is in Brazil recovering from a knee surgery, said "it was an isolated and stupid act."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press