Manchester United's Antony dropped from Brazil amid investigation
Antony, the Manchester United footballer, was excluded from the Brazil squad on Monday due to fresh allegations of domestic violence against him. The 23-year-old had originally been selected for the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying matches against Bolivia and Peru but was removed from international duty following the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) citing the need to investigate the allegations.
The accusations of domestic violence were initially made by Antony's ex-girlfriend in June, and additional allegations from her surfaced on Monday. While Manchester United acknowledged the CBF's decision, they refrained from commenting on the matter. Antony, on the other hand, has denied any wrongdoing.
The statement released by the CBF stated: "In light of the recent developments involving Manchester United player Antony, which require investigation, and in order to protect the alleged victim, the player, the Brazilian team, and the CBF, we announce the withdrawal of the athlete from the Brazilian team."
The allegations are currently under investigation in Brazil, and a complaint has been filed with the Manchester police.
Greater Manchester Police issued a statement on Monday, stating: "We are aware of the allegations made, and inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding this report."
In response to the allegations, Antony posted a statement on social media, asserting that the "accusations are false" and expressing his commitment to cooperating with the police investigation.
He stated: "Out of respect for my fans, friends, and family, I feel compelled to address the false accusations I have been facing. I have taken this matter seriously from the outset and cooperated fully with the police authorities."
"The police investigation is a matter of justice, and therefore, I cannot disclose its contents. Nevertheless, I can confidently assert that the accusations against me are untrue, and the evidence already presented, as well as forthcoming evidence, will demonstrate my innocence."
Daniel Bialski, the lawyer representing Antony's ex-girlfriend, conveyed her desire for Antony to face consequences for his actions, saying: "All she wants is for him [Antony] to be held accountable for what she endured. I have great faith in the investigation by the Civil Police, and I anticipate that he will be prosecuted for the crimes he has committed."
Antony had previously represented Brazil in the World Cup in Qatar and had scored two goals in 16 appearances for the national team. He played for 84 minutes in Manchester United's 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.
As a replacement, Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus was called up to the national team for the two upcoming matches.