Antony: Manchester United put player on leave of absence after assault claims

Leave: Antony  (PA)
Leave: Antony (PA)

Manchester United have put Anthony on a leave of absence amid ongoing allegations of abuse.

Both United and Antony have agreed for the player to stay away from the club to focus on defending himself. Antony has denied all the allegations made against him of violence towards women.

“Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony,” a statement read.

“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.”

Anthony said in a statement of his own: "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."

The 23-year-old earlier this week was dropped from the Brazil squad after accusations of physical aggression on a number of occasions since January towards his former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, which are being investigated by police and which he denies.

Since then, Brazilian newspaper Extra has reported that influencer and law student Rayssa de Freitas in May 2022 filed a police report against Antony alleging she sustained injuries in an incident involving the player and another woman after a night out in Sao Paulo.

Meanwhile, banker Ingrid Lana told Brazil’s RecordTV that in an incident at Antony’s home in Manchester in October 2022 he “pushed me against the wall, and I hit my head”.

Antony on Monday had issued a statement on Instagram in which he described Cavallin’s claims as “false”, and speaking on Friday on Brazilian network SBT, the forward said: “I have never and I never will (attack a woman).”

He added: “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.”