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Cristiano Ronaldo’s image is back on EA Sports website

By October 7, 2018November 20th, 2021Sports website

Update, October 7: Cristiano Ronaldo appears again on the EA Sports website, having been temporarily removed.

EA is “watching closely” allegations of sexual assault against Juventus and Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo. The soccer player is the star of EA Sports’ FIFA 19 cover, having also featured on the cover of the previous game in the series.

The allegations against Ronaldo date back to 2009, when the player was still attached to Manchester United. An American claims that Ronaldo sexually assaulted her at a Las Vegas hotel in June of that year, and that she was then paid $ 375,000 before signing a nondisclosure agreement.

Nine years after the alleged incident, the woman identified herself. In an article published last week by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Kathryn Mayorga said she reported the incident to Las Vegas police the day after it allegedly occurred. Since the allegations resurfaced, police have confirmed that they have reopened the investigation and that a rape kit recovered from a hospital the day after the assault was reported is still in their possession. Mayorga has spoken at length with Der Speigel about the allegations and has now filed a civil lawsuit against Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is featured on the cover of the game, but also in the game itself. His character appears in the game’s story mode – The Journey: Champions – and he’s a highly sought after player as well. Ronaldo is the highest rated player in the game when it comes to base stats and can also be acquired as a particularly rare “Ones to Watch” card in the game’s Ultimate Team mode.

EA appears to have briefly removed Ronaldo from their official FIFA 19 promotional website, but as of October 7, his image appears there again in the EA Sports drop-down menu for FIFA 19.

We reached out to EA for comment on the allegations and asked if the allegations would impact Ronaldo’s appearance as a cover star in FIFA 19 or in future series titles. In response, a spokesperson said: “We have seen the disturbing report which details the allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo. We are monitoring the situation closely, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to behave in a manner consistent with EA’s values.

According to this Resetera thread, Ronaldo’s image was pulled from the EA Sports website earlier this week. However, a recent update to the thread’s original post says its image has been uploaded to the site. While representatives appear for all of the company’s other sports titles, Ronaldo does not appear on EA’s other official marks on FIFA.

There is no direct precedent for EA to take action against cover stars facing legal action. Tiger Woods remained the face of the studio’s golf series during several controversies in the winter of 2009, but NFL stars were removed from the contestant pools – and from the game altogether – as a result of allegations of assault and convictions.

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