Even if Saudi Arabia relaxed its harsh marriage laws to permit Cristiano Ronaldo to live with Georgina Rodriguez outside of the bonds of marriage, Georgina Rodriguez will still need to get acquainted to all the rules she must follow there.
Georgina has rules
- She must wear the abaya in public. This is the dark-colored talar tunic.
- She must dress with “modesty and decorum”. In other words, no more see-through, low-cut and tight-fitting clothes for her.
- The importation and consumption of alcohol and pork products is strictly forbidden.
- Nor may she eat, drink or smoke in public during the month of Ramadan, between March and April.
- As for tourism in her new place of residence, as she is not a Muslim, she will not be able to visit the Holy Cities, such as Mecca and Medina, as well as other natural sites and monuments. However, they will be able to do so by obtaining a permit.
Marriage laws bent
Saudi Arabia is apparently prepared to bend marriage laws to allow superstar footballer Christiano Ronaldo to live with his partner Georgina Rodriguez. The Portuguese striker has recently signed a contract with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nasir after leaving Manchester United.
The country has strict laws prohibiting unmarried couples from living together which would be problematic for Ronaldo since he is not married to his longtime girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.
In a surprise move, it is reported that the strict country is actually set to bend the laws for the footballer by granting an exemption for them to live together.
According to MARCA, Ms Rodriguez will still be subject to other laws and restrictions that are applicable to women in the country. She will have to don an Abaya (a black, long sleeved loose fitting garment) and she is not allowed to wear any low cut or tight fitting clothes.
According to Spanish international news agency EFE, local authorities are set to ‘turn a blind eye’ to the couple living together.
“Although the laws of the kingdom still prohibit cohabitation without a marriage contract, the authorities have recently started to turn a blind eye and no longer prosecute anyone. Although these laws are used when there is a problem or a crime,” said one lawyer who wished to remain anonymous.
“Nowadays Saudi authorities no longer interfere in this matter – for expatriates – even though the law prohibits cohabitation without marriage,” said another lawyer.
Different laws for the rich?
Not everyone is happy about the exemption though as people took to Instagram to express their irritation.
“Rules are made for poor people,” said one user.
“Nothing new here. Laws have never been applicable when they get in the way of profit,” said another.
Ronaldo’s move has made him the world’s highest paid player. He will pocket a cool $200 million a year. The move also signifies that Saudi Arabia appears to be keen to become a major sporting and diplomatic powerhouse in the Middle East.
The footballer has been in a relationship with Rodriguez since 2016. Ronaldo had earlier said that he was proud and grateful for the opportunity to move to the Middle Eastern League.
“I feel so proud to make this big decision in my life. In Europe, my work is done. I won everything and now this is a new challenge. I’m grateful Al Nasir have given me this opportunity, not only for the football but for the young generation and the female generation.
“I had many opportunities in Europe, Brazil, Australia, the US and even Portugal many clubs tried to sign me, but I gave my word to this club. This is a good chance to grow many important points here with my knowledge and my experience.
I’m a unique player. I beat all the records there. I want to beat a few records here. This contract is unique but I’m a unique player, so for me it’s normal.
“Many people speak and give their opinions but they really do know nothing about football. It’s not the end of my career to come to Saudi Arabia. I really don’t worry about what the people say.”
This may also open up avenues for the other players to come in more easily. There are also rumours that Saudi Arabia wants to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup together with Greece and Egypt.