Manchester United have been accused of trying to cover up allegations that Brazil star Antony attacked his ex-girlfriend.
The bombshell accusation has been made by Gabriela Cavallin and her lawyers to Sao Paulo Civil Police who are investigating the allegations of assault alongside Greater Manchester Police. United have slammed the claims as ‘categorically false.
Cavallin claims that the club despatched a player support officer to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Manchester where it’s alleged that Antony assaulted his then girlfriend on January 15.She says that the 23-year-old headbutted her and then caused one of her breast implants to become dislodged by throwing her forcefully onto the bed and falling on top of her. She claims to have needed reconstructive surgery and also suffered a cut to her head.
Cavallin’s legal team allege that the support officer tried to conceal the attack by calling a club doctor to assess her so that she would not go to a hospital and arouse any suspicion. Reports in Brazil on Wednesday claimed that they have asked Sao Paulo Police to investigate the support officer’s role in the incident, and lawyers have also requested CCTV footage from the hotel.
United confirmed on Wednesday night that a member of staff arranged for a private doctor to visit Cavallin at Antony’s request, but denied that she was treated by any of the club’s medical staff. It’s understood to be common for United’s welfare team to arrange for doctors to see partners and family members of players. United insist that neither the club or the support officer were aware of any of the allegations of assault against Antony until they appeared in the Brazilian media in June.
A statement read: ‘Any suggestion that the club covered-up these allegations is categorically false.’ Antony has denied Cavallin’s claims that he assaulted her on four occasions and volunteered himself for interview in June. United have also said that they will co-operate with any police inquiries. The club have resisted calls from domestic abuse campaigners to suspend the player, although manager Erik ten Hag has the option to rest Antony and shield him from the spotlight when his team returns to action against Brighton in nine days.
United issued a short statement on Wednesday saying: ‘Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony and notes that the police are conducting enquiries. Pending further information, the club will be making no further comments. ‘As a club, we are taking this matter seriously, with consideration of the impact of these allegations and subsequent reporting will have on survivors of abuse.