The news feels like a constant stream of decades old allegations of sexual assault and misconduct right now, but it’s not just American politics, it’s sports as well. Claims against footballer Cristiano Ronaldo have resurfaced from 2009, and EA have decided to remove his image from the social media channels for the FIFA games as they are “monitoring the situation.”
Giving an interview to Der Spiegel in the past week, Kathryn Mayorga alleges that Ronaldo forced her to have sex at a Las Vega hotel in July 2009. Ronaldo has responded by labelling the accusations as “fake news” and later going on to tweet that “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”
The claims of have resurfaced with Mayorga’s lawyer saying that Ronaldo failed to meet the terms of a $375,000 out of court settlement, which included a non-disclosure clause. They’re seeking to void the settlement, but have given interviews to German news magazine Der Spiegel in the meantime, leading to the Las Vegas police re-opening their investigation.
In a statement issued to EA, a spokesperson said “We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo. 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.”
While they have changed the banner image on the EA Sports FIFA Twitter account to one focussing on the review scores the latest entry of the game has received, EA claim that this is purely about marketing and not related. Ronaldo is still featured heavily within the game itself, and part of the FIFA Ultimate Team Ones to Watch promotion as the highest rated player in the game, and he’s obviously still on all the existing promotional material out there. While he’s been left out of the Portugal national football squad for their upcoming international fixtures, he’s been publicly backed by Juventus, to whom he transferred over the summer.