The Brazilian national team have dropped Manchester United winger Antony following allegations of abuse by his former girlfriend.
The Brazilian football federation said the 23-year-old had been withdrawn from the squad after “facts became public” that “need to be investigated”. Brazilian news outlet UOL published allegations made by Antony’s ex-partner on Monday September 4.
Police in Sao Paulo and Greater Manchester are investigating the claims, which the player has denied. “I can calmly state that the accusations are false and that the evidence already produced and the other evidence that will be produced demonstrate that I am innocent of the accusations made,” Antony said on social media.
“I trust that the ongoing police investigations will demonstrate the truth about my innocence.” Antony is accused of attacking his former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin “with a headbutt” in a Manchester hotel room on 15 January, leaving her with a cut head which needed treatment from a doctor. She also alleges she was punched in the chest, causing damage to a silicone breast implant, which required corrective surgery. Antony added in his statement on Monday that his relationship with his former partner was “tumultuous”, but insisted he “never committed any physical aggression”.
In response to the allegations, Antony posted a statement on social media in which he insisted the “accusations are false.” It read:
“Out of respect for my fans, friends, and family, I feel obligated to speak publicly about the false accusations I have been a victim of. From the beginning I have handled this issue seriously and with respect, providing the due clarifications to the police authority.
The police inquest is under the cover of justice and therefore I cannot make its content public. However, I can say with confidence that the accusations are false and the evidence already produced and more to be produced show that I am innocent of the accusations made.”
Daniel Bialski, the lawyer for Antony’s ex-girlfriend, said via Brazil outlet Globo Monday: “The only thing she wants is that, for everything she went through, he [Antony] be punished. I trust a lot in the investigation of the Civil Police and I wait for him to be prosecuted for the crimes he committed.”
Antony played for Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar and has scored two goals in 16 games for the national team. He played 84 minutes of Man United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal on Sunday.