Sponsors Nike, EA admit concern regarding Ronaldo allegation

Cristiano Ronaldo warms up before a match with Juventus Source: Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo faced growing heat on Friday (AEST) from sponsors over a rape allegation in the United States after Nike and video game maker EA Sports expressed concern about the conduct of the Juventus star.

The five-time world player of the year, who was seen driving into the Juventus training base in the morning, received public backing from the Italian club, announcing they would not judge him on the 2009 assault claim by a Nevada woman.

Ronaldo has denied the accusations.

The show of support came shortly after Nike broke its silence in a statement to The Associated Press that described the company's unease over its association with Ronaldo, which started in 2003.

The latest terms signed in 2016 are worth a reported US$1 billion (A$1.4 billion), and Ronaldo has suggested that it was a deal "for life".

But the Beaverton, Oregon-based company is troubled by details emerging from a lawsuit filed last week in a Nevada state court by the accuser, who alleges she was raped by Ronaldo in Las Vegas.

Police have also re-opened an investigation.

"We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation," Nike said in an email to the AP.

One of the wealthiest and most gifted players of all time, Ronaldo wears Nike boots and appears in its advertising.

The Portugal captain is also the face of the EA Sports FIFA video game franchise, appearing on the cover of the 2019 game that was released worldwide last week.

"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."

Source: AAP