Discarded: Mastercard 'suspends Neymar ad campaign' amid rape allegations
Mastercard has suspended an advertising campaign featuring Brazilian star Neymar amid allegations of sexual assault against the forward, according to reports in the player’s homeland.
The international payments and technology company had planned to use the star Paris Saint-Germain forward for the campaign during the Copa America, which kicks off in Brazil on June 15.
Neymar has been accused of sexually assaulting Brazilian model Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza in a Paris hotel room in May – claims which he has vehemently denied.
Mastercard have now moved to suspend its planned campaign with the player, 27, according to reports in the Brazilian press.
"We have a series of marketing campaigns planned to be linked together during the Copa America but we have made the decision to suspend all of them, including Neymar as our brand ambassador, until the issue is resolved," Mastercard said in a press release, as quoted by Spanish outlet AS.com.
The company's Twitter feed still features the initial launch of the advert, including its 'ambassador' Neymar.
Criamos um Bandeirão para unir o apoio à Seleção Brasileira e à luta contra a fome infantil no Brasil. Depois de viajar pelo país, chegou na Granja Comary. Nosso Embaixador @neymarjr estava lá e mandou um recado para a nossa torcida. #JuntosSomos10#ComeceAlgoQueNaoTemPreco. pic.twitter.com/R6Ww7qMByZ— Mastercard Brasil (@MastercardBR) May 28, 2018
Neymar’s accuser appeared on Brazilian TV on Wednesday night to detail her claims against the player, alleging that she initially agreed to have sex with him but changed her mind after learning that he did not have a condom.
“When I asked him if he brought a condom, he said no,” she claimed. “So I told him that nothing would happen. He didn't listen, he turned, and he committed the act ... I said, 'Stop. Stop. No! Stop.'”
Footage has also been shared online reportedly showing the model lashing out at Neymar in a hotel room the day after the alleged incident.Also on rt.com WATCH: Rape accuser 'attacks Neymar in Paris hotel'
The player and his representatives have strongly denied the claims against him, saying that he is the victim of an extortion attempt.
Meanwhile, Neymar has been ruled out of the Copa America after damaging ankle ligaments in a friendly against Qatar on Wednesday night.
He left the pitch in tears, before medical staff later confirmed the injury would rule him out of the biennial competition.