04 Sep Antony dropped from Brazil amid investigation
Antony was dropped from the Brazil squad Monday following fresh allegations of domestic violence made against the Manchester United footballer.
The 23-year-old had been named to the squad for CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying games against Bolivia and Peru, but was released from international duty after the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) cited allegations “which need to be investigated.”
Allegations of domestic violence were first made against Antony in June by his ex-girlfriend and further accusations from her were made public on Monday. United said they are aware of the decision taken by the CBF but declined to comment, while Antony denies any wrongdoing.
The statement issued by the CBF read: “Due to the facts that became public this Monday involving Manchester United player Antony, and which need to be investigated, and in order to safeguard the alleged victim, the player, the Brazilian team and the CBF, the organisation informs that the athlete has been withdrawn from the Brazilian team.”
The allegations are under investigation in Brazil and a complaint has also been made to police in Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police issued a statement on Monday that read: “Greater Manchester Police is aware of the allegations made and enquiries remain ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this report.”
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.
Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus was called up to the national team for the two scheduled games as a replacement.
ESPN writer Adriana Garcia contributed to this story.