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Fact Check: Ronaldo's Hotel Offers Shelter to Victims of Morocco Earthquake?

 Getty Images
Getty Images

Claim:

Cristiano Ronaldo made his hotel available to provide shelter to victims of the September 2023 Morocco earthquake.

Rating:

Rating: Mostly False
Rating: Mostly False

Context:

Hotel Pestana CR7 did not extend an offer of refuge to victims of the Morocco earthquake. However, some people actually stayed at the hotel after the event.

 

The recent earthquake in Morocco resulted in at least 2,681 fatalities, and was the most severe one in the country in 60 years. As of this writing, rescue efforts are ongoing, especially in remote areas where access is hindered by blocked roads.

In September 2023, a rumor spread on various social media accounts and websites, that Cristiano Ronaldo, an international soccer star, invited victims of the Moroccan earthquake to his hotel in Marrakesh. "Cristiano Ronaldo has made his Hotel Pestana CR7 available to provide shelter to those affected by the earthquake in Morocco," read one post on X (formerly Twitter) with over 1 million views. Similarly, another article's headline on the topic read "Cristiano Ronaldo's hotel on the outskirts of Marrakech acts as a refuge after Morocco earthquake."

Check News, a French organization, contacted the Pestana CR7 hotel, which denied acting as a refuge center after Morocco earthquake. "This is false information. All the customers we have at the moment have made a reservation normally," we can read on the organization's website. Ynetnews, a news portal from Irael, also heard back from the Ronaldo's hotel:

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

Most probably, the rumor originated from an interview with Irene Seixas, a woman affected by the earthquake that stayed at the Ronaldo's hotel.

The interview was conducted in Spanish and Seixas told her story about spending the night of the street, and later getting a room in Ronaldo's hotel:

Spanish transctiption: Empezamos a buscar vuelos. Los vuelos se agotaron. En un momento tuvimos que coger vuelos de incluso de 1.000 € para intentar marchar antes porque nosotros nos íbamos el próximo miércoles. Los hoteles lo mismo. [...] Y ahora mismo hemos conseguido que en el hotel de Cristiano Ronaldo que hay aquí a las afueras de Marrakech, nos den una habitación. Estamos a la espera. Hemos dormido toda la noche en la calle y ahora a las 07:00 nos han dicho que nos podíamos acercar y que iban a intentar darnos una habitación cuanto antes. De momento estamos aquí en un vestíbulo. Un montón de personas de diferentes nacionalidades esperando a ver si podemos conseguir una habitación, pero todos hemos dormido en la calle.

Our translation: We started looking for flights. The flights were sold out. At one point we had to take flights of even €1,000 to try to leave earlier because we were supposed to be leaving next Wednesday. The hotels were the same. [...] And immediately we have managed to get a room at Cristiano Ronaldo's hotel here on the outskirts of Marrakech. We were waiting. We slept all night on the street and now at 07:00 they told us that we could come and that they would try to give us a room as soon as possible. At the moment we are here in a hallway. A lot of people of different nationalities are waiting to see if they can get a room, but we have all slept on the street.

Given that Pestana CR7 hotel did not act as a refuge after Morocco earthquake, but some people actually stayed at the hotel after the event, we rated this claim as Mostly false.

It's not the first time we have written about Cristiano Ronaldo. For instance, in July 2022, we reported on a fake livestream of Ronaldo that was attracting attention on TikTok.

Sources:

Liles, Jordan. "Cristiano Ronaldo Featured in Fake Livestream on TikTok." Snopes, 18 July 2022, https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/07/18/cristiano-ronaldo-tiktok/.

Pezet, Jacques. "Séisme au Maroc : non, Cristiano Ronaldo n'a pas transformé son hôtel de Marrakech en refuge." Libération, https://www.liberation.fr/checknews/non-cristiano-ronaldo-na-pas-transforme-son-hotel-de-marrakech-en-refuge-20230910_BMO3RISQ4BCQZOFEZYL3ZGE5NU/. Accessed 11 Sept. 2023.

Ran, Gido and Marrakesh. "Contrary to Reports, Ronaldo's Morocco Hotel Claims: 'We Do Not Host Refugees.'" Ynetnews, 10 Sept. 2023. www.ynetnews.com, https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/h1zlxyoah.