Manchester United’s winger, Antony, has been granted a leave of absence by the Premier League club to address allegations of domestic abuse, as announced by the club on Sunday.
The 23-year-old was withdrawn from the Brazilian national squad on Monday due to accusations made by his former girlfriend, Gabriela Cavallin, allegations that he firmly denies.
In a statement, Manchester United acknowledged the allegations against Antony and emphasized their condemnation of acts of violence and abuse. They stressed their commitment to safeguarding all individuals involved in the situation and recognized the impact such allegations can have on survivors of abuse.
Antony himself responded to the accusations on Instagram, asserting that he was the victim of false claims. This statement came in response to Brazilian press reports that had published WhatsApp messages allegedly exchanged between Antony and Cavallin, including messages where the player purportedly threatened his ex-partner. A photo of Cavallin with a head wound was also circulated.
While Antony acknowledged that his relationship with Cavallin had been tumultuous with verbal abuse from both sides, he vehemently denied any physical assault, stating, “I never practiced physical aggression.”
The timing of this incident places added pressure on Manchester United, coming shortly after the club’s decision to part ways with Mason Greenwood. The 21-year-old striker had faced charges, including attempted rape and assault, but these were dropped earlier in the year due to the withdrawal of key witnesses and the emergence of new evidence. Despite initial reports suggesting United would retain Greenwood following a six-month internal investigation, public outcry led the club to announce in August that he would rebuild his career elsewhere, with Greenwood subsequently joining Spanish side Getafe on loan.
Antony had joined Manchester United just over a year ago from Ajax in an £85 million ($107 million) deal. During his time at the club, he has made 48 appearances and scored eight goals, contributing to the team’s victory in the English League Cup earlier this year.