LONDON: Manchester United winger Antony has been allowed a leave of absence in order to address allegations of domestic abuse, the Premier League club announced Sunday (Sep 10).
The 23-year-old was withdrawn from the Brazil squad on Monday over accusations made by his ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, which he denies.
United said in a statement: “Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony.
“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.”
Antony posted a statement on Instagram on Monday saying he was the “victim of false accusations”.
The denial came after Brazilian press reports published WhatsApp messages, reputedly between Antony and Cavallin, in which the player allegedly threatens his ex-partner.
Cavallin is also shown in one photo with an apparent head wound.
The former Ajax player said his relationship with Cavallin was “tumultuous, with verbal abuse on both sides”.
However he denied assaulting her, adding: “I never practiced physical aggression.”
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 including attempted rape and assault, but prosecutors announced in February this year 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 following a six-month internal investigation were met by a public outcry and the club said in August he would rebuild his career elsewhere.
Greenwood has subsequently joined Spanish side Getafe on loan.
Antony joined United just over a year ago from Ajax in a £85 million deal (US$107 million).
He has made 48 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring eight goals, and was part of the side that won the English League Cup earlier this year.