United winger Antony to resume playing after allegations of domestic abuse
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United winger Antony is available for selection again after taking a leave of absence to address allegations of domestic abuse, the Premier League club said Friday.
The Brazil international was cut from his country's World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru earlier this month after details of alleged violence towards an ex-girlfriend appeared in the media.
Antony denied the accusations and was given the leave of absence by United to defend himself.
He has since returned to the U.K. and United has said the time is right for him to resume playing.
“Since allegations were first made in June, Antony has cooperated with police inquiries in both Brazil and the UK, and he continues to do so," the Premier League club said. “As Antony’s employer, Manchester United has decided that he will resume training at Carrington, and be available for selection, while police inquiries proceed. This will be kept under review pending further developments in the case.”
Antony’s ex-girlfriend reported him to police on May 20 over alleged domestic violence, accusations that he denied in June and again this month.
“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,” he said this month.
Antony has not been arrested or charged and voluntarily attended an interview with Greater Manchester Police on Thursday.
"As a club we condemn acts of violence and abuse,” United said. "We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
The Antony situation has added to a troubled start to United’s season.
The club faced criticism over its handling of Mason Greenwood, who was sent on loan to Getafe six months after a criminal investigation of attempted rape was closed by prosecutors.
There is also an ongoing issue with Jadon Sancho, who is on a personal training program over a discipline issue. The winger claimed on social media that he had been made a scapegoat after being cut from a match against Arsenal.
Against the backdrop of those problems, performances on the field have also been disappointing, with United losing four of five games before back-to-back wins against Burnley and Crystal Palace over the past week.
United said Friday Lisandro Martinez would be sidelined for an “extended period” after aggravating the fractured metatarsal he suffered in April that kept him out for the remainder of last season.
The Argentinian defender hurt his foot again in the game against Arsenal this month, but played the following matches against Brighton and Bayern Munich.
Manager Erik ten Hag will also be without Sergio Reguilon for Saturday's game against Crystal Palace due to what was described as a minor injury.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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