Brazilian soccer star Neymar’s agents said on Friday that he and some of his sponsors had agreed to suspend some advertising campaigns following an allegation that he raped a woman in Paris last month. NR Sports, which holds the rights to Neymar’s name and image, said in a statement that no sponsorship contract had been cancelled and it did not provide details on what ad campaigns had been suspended.
“All the partners, for obvious reasons, are alert and aware of the unfolding events,” the NR Sports statement said in part. A Brazilian woman accused Neymar, 27, of raping her at a Paris hotel last month. Sao Paulo police are investigating the accusation against Neymar, who plays his club soccer with French champions Paris Saint-Germain. The woman told investigators that she met Neymar on Instagram. Neymar suggested they meet in person in Paris and he paid for her flight and her hotel room.
After media reports on the allegation, Neymar posted a video on Instagram, in which he denied the accusations, said he was a victim of extortion and shared messages he exchanged with the woman, including racy photos he had received. On Thursday, Nike Inc said it was “very concerned” about the rape accusation, raising questions about its sponsorship of one of the sport’s most famous players.
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. U.S. press representatives for Mastercard did not reply to requests for comment.