This is perhaps one of the most trying periods for Cristiano Ronaldo in his career. Just as the national team has dropped him from their next two fixtures, his sponsors are also reacting over the rape allegations against the globally acclaimed football star.
Just recovering from an earlier tax-evasion charges in Spain, the allegation that the football icon raped a model in 2009 was brought to the fore by a German publication.
Now, according to 90 Min publication, two of Cristiano Ronaldo’s biggest sponsors Nike and EA have released statements on the allegations of rape made against the Juventus star.
Clothing giants Nike, who have been one of Ronaldo’s principle sponsors since 2003, said in a statement to the Associated Press (AP) that they are ‘deeply concerned’ by the developments involving the player, which relate to allegations made by an American woman named Kathryn Mayorga, who claims the five-time Ballon d’Or winner sexually assaulted her at a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.
Nike’s statement in an email to the AP reads: “We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Meanwhile, EA Sports, whose FIFA video game franchise features Ronaldo on the cover of the latest edition, also spoke out.
“We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo,” EA Sports told the AP.
“We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values.”
Ronaldo himself took to Twitter to ‘firmly deny’ the allegations, adding later that his conscience is clear as far as the accusations go.
Juventus faced something of a social media backlash for the wording of their own Twitter statement standing behind their £100m summer signing on Thursday night, while Ronaldo has not been included in Portugal’s squad for upcoming fixtures against Poland and Scotland.
Ronaldo missed Juventus‘ Champions League win over Young Boys through suspension, and was rested for Portugal’s September fixtures.
“In the future, nothing prevents Cristiano from giving his contribution to the national team,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos told the BBC.