Nike Inc is “very concerned” about a rape accusation against Brazilian soccer star Neymar, the world’s largest sportswear maker said on Thursday, raising questions about its sponsorship of one of the sport’s most famous players.
Nike issued a statement a day after a woman said in an interview with Brazilian SBT TV that Neymar had raped her in a Paris hotel last month.
Neymar denied the allegation in an Instagram post and has said the woman was trying to extort him.
The lawyer for Neymar’s accuser did not respond to questions from Reuters.
“We are very concerned by the recent allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said when asked about the accusation against Neymar, who plays his club soccer with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
A press representative for Neymar declined to comment on his sponsorships.
Neymar’s lawyer Mayra Fernandes, speaking to journalists in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, did not address his sponsorship deals. She said her client was innocent of the allegation made against him.
A press representative for Mastercard in Brazil confirmed to Reuters that the company had planned an advertising campaign to coincide with this month’s Copa America tournament but she did not confirm reports in Brazil’s three biggest newspapers that Mastercard had decided to suspend Neymar’s featuring in it.
US press representatives for Mastercard did not reply to requests for comment.
Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, which featured Neymar in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup, said it was a sponsor of the national team but not individual players. A press representative declined to comment on the accusation against Neymar.
McDonald’s Corp and Procter & Gamble Co’s Gillette brand, which both featured Neymar prominently in ad campaigns last year, said they had no current contract with him....