EA is keeping a close eye on an evolving story surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s currently the cover star of FIFA 19 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Ronaldo, who plays for Italian professional football club Juventus, has been accused of rape–an accusation the major soccer star denies. Kathyn Mayorga claims Ronaldo raped her in Las Vegas in 2009, and EA is calling the accusation concerning.
“We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo,” the company told GameSpot. “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 published his own statement on Twitter in response to the allegations.
I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018
Meanwhile, his club is standing firmly behind him despite the allegations. In a pair of tweets, Juventus noted Ronaldo’s “great professionalism and dedication” in the past few months, while calling out the amount of time since the alleged rape. Juventus’ defence of the player has prompted a heated response from many people on social media, most of whom are criticizing the club for its unquestioning support of the player despite the allegations.
The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion. 2/2
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 4, 2018
Ronaldo is a playable player in the flagship EA Sports game, and is featured prominently on menu screens and in other parts in the game. He is also the center focus of EA’s extensive FIFA 19 marketing campaign.