Antony to take leave of absence from Man Utd following abuse allegations

Manchester United have confirmed that Antony will take a leave of absence from the club following allegations of abuse from multiple women.

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The 23-year-old’s former girlfriend, Gabriela Cavallin, has alleged that she was physically attacked by Antony on multiple occasions during their time together in Manchester and in their native Brazil.

Two more women, Rayssa de Freitas and Ingrid Lana, have also made accusations of abuse against the Brazil international.

The winger was dropped from the Brazil squad following the allegations and now a club statement confirms that he will not play for Manchester United for an unconfirmed period of time.

The statement read: ‘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 his own statement on Instagram, which read: ‘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 teammates and unnecessary controversy for the club. 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.’

Antony spoke out about the allegations during an interview with Brazilian TV show Fofocalizando on Friday.

‘I am 100 per cent sure that I have never touched a woman. And I will come with the proof. People will see the truth,’ Antony said.

‘I have never attacked and I never will attack. I’m sure I never committed physical violence. Verbal violence… I offended her and she offended me too. It was on both sides. Physical violence, never.

‘What I want most is to show the people that this is who I am. I want to achieve many things. I have many goals and many dreams. I want to show who I really am. I dream of returning to the national team and I want to show that Antony is innocent of all this.’

Responding directly to Cavallin’s claim that he attacked her in a hotel earlier this year, which left her with a cut on her head, Antony replied: ‘Negative. I never touched her.

‘I’ll never headbutt someone. She was in a hotel and sent me a message. I trained in the morning, I took my car and we went to her hotel. We had lunch together normally, we talked normally, everything was normal. But there was one thing that irritated her, which was when I said I needed to go because I had appointments.

‘I said I needed to go, we had an argument, she grabbed my face and said: ‘Look at me!’ She did so and put her hand on my face. I went to the bathroom, stayed there for a while, stayed there for about five minutes, then came out and said: ‘I need to leave’. She [stopped] at the door and said: ‘You’re not going’, and she didn’t let me. I tried to leave and she wouldn’t let me.

‘Then she broke glasses and plates. She threw it on the ground and threw it towards me too. She came on top of me. At that moment, I held her. At no point did I get to press it. I didn’t headbutt her. When she sent me the photo [of a bleeding head], I had already left, I was already home. I was at the hotel with her before and she wasn’t hurt. I do not know what happened. We were there, I held her and calmed her, after a while she calmed down. We talked and I went home, because I had other commitments with my work.’

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