Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

The striker was withdrawn from Brazil’s squad as police investigate accusations made by his ex-girlfriend.

Antony will not immediately return to Manchester United while the Brazil striker addresses assault allegations against him, the English Premier League club says.

“Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony,” the club said in a brief statement on Sunday.

“Players who have not participated in international matches are due back in training on Monday. However, it has been agreed with Antony that he will delay his return until further notice in order to address the allegations.”

Antony was withdrawn from Brazil’s squad for two World Cup qualifying matches as police investigated allegations made by his former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin. Antony has denied any wrongdoing.

“I have agreed with Manchester United to take a period of absence while I address the allegations made against me,” the player wrote in a post on Instagram. “This was a mutual decision to avoid distraction to my teammates and unnecessary controversy for the club.

“I want to reiterate my innocence of the things I have been accused of, and I will fully cooperate with the police to help them reach the truth, I look forward to returning to play as soon as possible.”

Both Brazil and the Greater Manchester Police are investigating the allegations. Two more women have since come forward to say they were physically assaulted by Antony, who has not been arrested or charged and has denied those claims as well.

“As a club we condemn acts of violence and abuse,” Manchester United said. “We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”

United are under pressure to act as the case comes hot on the heels of the club’s decision to part ways with Mason Greenwood.

The 21-year-old striker had faced charges that included attempted rape and assault, but prosecutors announced in February that the case had been dropped after key witnesses withdrew and new evidence came to light.

Reports that United were planning to retain the player after a six-month internal investigation were met by a public outcry, and the club said in August that he would rebuild his career elsewhere.

Greenwood has subsequently joined Spanish side Getafe on loan.

Antony, who is a winger for United, joined the team just over a year ago from Ajax in a 85-million-pound ($107m) deal.

The 23-year-old has made 48 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring eight goals, and was part of the side that won the English League Cup this year.

Brazil began their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 5-1 win over Bolivia on Friday. They face Peru on Tuesday.

United are currently 11th in the Premier League with six points from four games, and they next host Brighton on Saturday.

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By Joy

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