(Football News) Brazil has excluded Manchester United winger Antony from its squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru following the publication of allegations of domestic abuse involving his ex-girlfriend by Brazilian media on Monday.
The Brazilian soccer confederation stated that Antony’s omission from the team was due to the publicized allegations. Antony had been reported to the police by his ex-girlfriend on May 20, alleging domestic violence, which he denied in June and reiterated on Monday.
Brazilian media released alleged correspondences between the two individuals, suggesting instances where the player appeared to threaten and intimidate the woman.
The Brazilian soccer governing body emphasized the need for a thorough investigation of the case and cited the removal of Antony from the team as a measure aimed at safeguarding both the player and the alleged victim, as well as the national team.
Sao Paulo police confirmed to The Associated Press that an ongoing investigation is in progress but did not provide further details.
The 23-year-old Antony posted a statement on Instagram earlier on Monday, prior to his removal from the team, vehemently denying the accusations. He acknowledged a tumultuous relationship with the woman but maintained that he had never physically harmed her, pointing out inconsistencies in her various accounts of the accusations.
Antony had represented Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar and had scored two goals in 16 appearances for the national team. Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus has been called up as a replacement for the upcoming two matches.