Manchester United winger Antony has mutually agreed a ‘period of absence’ away from the club while he addresses allegations of assault made by his former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin and two other women, which are being investigated by Greater Manchester and Sao Paulo Police.
Antony strongly denies all the allegations and has vowed to clear his name. On Saturday, he appeared on Brazilian network SBT to discuss the issue. The Brazilian insisted he has never attacked a woman, and that he will ‘come with the proof’.
Antony had been named in the Brazil squad for their games against Bolivia and Peru during the current international break. However, he was subsequently dropped as Brazil’s football federation insisted the allegations ‘need to be investigated’.
Both Man Utd and Antony have now provided updates on the situation. In a club statement, Man Utd stated that Antony’s return to Old Trafford ‘will be delayed’.
‘Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony,’ the club wrote.
‘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.
‘As a club we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.’
Writing on Instagram, Antony added: ‘I have agreed with Manchester United to take a period of absence while I address the allegations made against me. This was a mutual decision to avoid distraction to my team-mates and unnecessary controversy for the club.
Antony releases statement with Man Utd
‘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’.
Of course, Man Utd have already had to deal with plenty of controversy this year as a result of Mason Greenwood’s return to football.
The one-time England international had been charged with attempted rape, but the case was subsequently dropped as a result of key witnesses pulling out.
Man Utd then conducted their own investigation into the matter. They concluded that Greenwood did not do the things he was accused of, though he had made mistakes which he takes responsibility for.
The Red Devils decided that Greenwood would not play for them this season, resulting in a loan move to Spanish club Getafe. As Greenwood’s Man Utd contract does not expire until June 2025, it is currently unclear whether they will try to reintegrate him into their senior squad next year, which would be a controversial move.