Following the devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night, various media outlets and social media users reported that Cristiano Ronaldo had generously offered his hotel in Morocco, Pestana CR7 Marrakech, as a refuge to those affected by the earthquake.
In response to inquiries, the Pestana CR7 hotel has officially confirmed that it has not been transformed into a refuge for victims of the earthquake.
Pestana CR7 Marrakech
The Pestana CR7 Marrakech is a luxurious hotel situated in Marrakesh, Morocco, conveniently located on M Avenue.
Just a short distance away from the historic old town of Marrakesh, the Pestana CR7 Marrakech provides exceptional comfort and an ambiance inspired by Moroccan traditions. Its bright, spacious, and romantic settings make it the perfect destination for a regal stay.
This project was initiated in collaboration with the Portuguese hotel group Pestana, known as Portugal's largest hotel chain. In December 2017, the CEO of Pestana mentioned that this joint venture aimed to explore new markets in Asia and the Middle East, capitalizing on Cristiano Ronaldo's immense popularity in those regions.
A Rumor of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Hotel Opening as a Refuge After the Earthquake
A rumor started circulating on various social media platforms and websites after Morocco’s earthquake, claiming that the Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo had extended an offer to the victims of the Moroccan earthquake to stay at his hotel in Marrakesh.
This news initially surfaced in an article published by the Spanish sports media outlet Marca, titled "Cristiano Ronaldo's hotel on the outskirts of Marrakech acts as a refuge after Morocco earthquake."
The news was further propagated by other popular sports media outlets and websites, including Diario AS.
Marca's Story About a Spanish Lady Taking Ronaldo's Hotel as a Refuge
It appears that the word "refuge" in Marca’s news headline may have been misunderstood by the media outlets that reported this news. Upon closer examination of Marca's article, it is clear that the newspaper relied on the account of a Spanish tourist who had appeared on television. Marca is known for using catchy terms in headlines that cause controversy sometimes.
According to her testimony, she had booked a flight back to Spain following the earthquake and sought refuge in a more modern district of Marrakech, which had suffered less damage from the earthquake. She mentioned that she had slept on the street before managing to secure a vacant room at Cristiano Ronaldo's hotel. It is important to clarify that her stay at the luxurious hotel does not necessarily imply that it was open to earthquake victims, as might have been apparently understood.
Pestana CR7 Marrakech Hotel Refuted the Claim
According to the Libération newspaper, in response to inquiries, the Pestana CR7 hotel has confirmed that it has not been converted into a refuge for earthquake victims. They stated, "This is false information. All the customers we have at the moment have made a reservation normally." As of now, Cristiano Ronaldo has not made any such announcement.
According to the operations manager, it is possible that someone observed homeless individuals on the street outside the hotel, which is part of the complex, or that some of them were seated in the lobby. In an official statement provided to Ynet, the hotel clarified, "We have received many requests to host people because the hotel was not affected by the earthquake. Many guests have arrived in the past day, but it is not accurate to say that we are hosting refugees and victims."
Ronaldo Expresses Sympathy for Morocco Earthquake Victims
Ronaldo posted a brief message on his Instagram story, accompanied by the Moroccan flag, as a condolence to Moroccans. In his message, he expressed his sadness and sympathy, saying, "My deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those who have lost their lives in the earthquake in Morocco. Sending love and prayers to all in Morocco at this very difficult time."
It is worth noting that this is not the first time Ronaldo's hotels have been linked to similar claims. In March 2020, media outlets published news alleging that Ronaldo had dedicated his hotels to combating the coronavirus by converting them into medical centers.
At the time, a spokesperson for the hotel denied the claim, saying, "We are a hotel. We are not going to be a hospital. It is a day like everyone else, we are and will remain a hotel."
Morocco’s Earthquake Claims Over 2800 Lives
A devastating earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 6.8, struck Morocco on Friday night. The quake occurred around 11:11 p.m. local time and had its epicenter located in the High Atlas mountain range, situated approximately 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech.
The death toll has now surpassed 2,800, with medics and rescuers racing against time as the chances of finding more survivors beneath the debris diminish.
The earthquake has had a significant impact on at least 100,000 children, according to the United Nations.
Qatar, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom are among the countries actively involved in search and rescue operations. The earthquake has elicited condolences and support from several world leaders and organizations. Notable figures expressing their sympathy and solidarity include the United Nations, U.S. President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 summit, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.