Having a key cover star for a sports game is always a good thing. But the situation can easily backfire due to some form of controversy...and that apparently seems to be happening for EA Sports and its FIFA 19 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo.
The company is keeping a close eye on the situation surrounding a new sexual assault claim on Ronaldo, which was reported by German news magazine Der Spiegel a few days ago. In it, a woman by the name of Kathryn Mayorga accuses Ronaldo of committing said sexual assault in Las Vegas back in 2009.
EA Sports spoke with The Hollywood Reporter on the matter, saying, "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."
At the moment, the publisher has no plans to replace Ronaldo as the cover star of its hit soccer game, though that could change as the investigation goes on, depending on the results.
Ronaldo has refuted the claims, posting an Instagram video stating that it was "fake news." His attorneys have also threatened to sue Der Spiegel over the claims, though no further action has been taken yet.
EA Sports isn't the only company that relies heavily on Ronaldo's presence with their brand. Nike, who are currently contracted with the soccer superstar, also expressed deep concern over the claims, and noted that it too will "closely monitor the situation" to see what it wants to do next.
For the time being, the Portugal national team that Ronaldo plays for currently don't have him on the roster for their upcoming games against Poland and Scotland. It's unknown if he'll be playing again anytime soon, but more than likely, the team will wait for the investigation to conclude.
It's unknown who could possibly replace Ronaldo on the cover of FIFA 19, since he's widely recognized throughout the sports community. But, again, we'll let you know if the publisher makes any kind of announcement.