Antony, the Manchester United footballer, has been removed from the Brazil national squad following new allegations of domestic violence.
The 23-year-old was initially named in the squad for the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying matches against Bolivia and Peru.
The Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) decided to release Antony from international duty due to the fresh allegations, stating that these allegations require investigation.
Antony has faced accusations of domestic violence in the past, initially made by his ex-girlfriend in June, and these have resurfaced with additional claims.
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Manchester United has acknowledged the CBF’s decision but declined to comment, while Antony himself has denied any wrongdoing.
In a statement issued by the CBF, it said, “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the alleged victim, the player, the Brazilian team, and the CBF, the organization informs that the athlete has been withdrawn from the Brazilian team.”
These allegations are currently under investigation in Brazil, and a complaint has also been filed with the Greater Manchester Police in the United Kingdom.
Greater Manchester Police released a statement saying, “Greater Manchester Police is aware of the allegations made, and enquiries remain ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this report.”
In response to these allegations, Antony posted a statement on social media strongly asserting his innocence, stating, “The accusations are false.” He also mentioned that he has cooperated with the police in their inquiries.
Antony’s ex-girlfriend’s lawyer, Daniel Bialski, expressed his hope that Antony would be prosecuted for the alleged crimes, saying, “The only thing she wants is that, for everything she went through, he [Antony] be punished.”
Gabriel Jesus, an Arsenal forward, has been called up to the national team as a replacement for the two upcoming matches.
Antony has previously represented Brazil at the World Cup and has earned two goals in 16 games for the national team.