Manchester United footballer Antony has been left out of Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers squad following allegations of domestic violence against him. Antony is accused of assaulting his former girlfriend, Gabriela Cavallin, on January 15, allegedly in a Manchester hotel room. These allegations of domestic violence initially emerged in June, with additional complaints from Antony’s ex-partner recently coming to light. While Antony had initially been included in Brazil’s 23-player football squad for the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying matches against Bolivia and Peru, these fresh allegations have raised doubts about his future in the sport.
The Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) issued a statement to clarify their decision: “In light of the information that became public this Monday regarding Manchester United player Antony, which requires investigation, and to protect the alleged victim, the player, the Brazilian team, and the CBF, the organization announces that the athlete has been withdrawn from the Brazilian team.”
Both the Sao Paulo and Greater Manchester Police are presently conducting inquiries into the matter. A statement from the Greater Manchester Police confirmed their awareness of the allegations and ongoing investigations into the circumstances surrounding the report.
Antony has publicly refuted the accusations, stating, “Out of respect for my fans, friends, and family, I feel compelled to publicly address the false accusations made against me. I have approached this matter with utmost seriousness and respect from the outset, providing the necessary clarifications to the police authorities. The police investigation is confidential, and I cannot disclose its contents. However, I can confidently assert that the accusations are baseless, and the evidence already presented, as well as forthcoming evidence, will demonstrate my innocence.”
Antony has participated in 48 matches for Manchester United, scoring eight goals. He has appeared in four Premier League games this season, with his most recent outing resulting in a 3-1 away defeat to Arsenal.
While representing Brazil at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, Antony has netted two goals in 16 international games. Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has been chosen as Antony’s replacement for this month’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Brazil’s initial qualifying match will be against Bolivia in Belem, Para, followed by a match against Peru in Lima next week.