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Manchester United says it is taking allegations of abuse by Antony seriously

Antony Manchester United Antony - The Canadian Press

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United spoke about the allegations of domestic abuse made against Brazil international Antony for the first time on Wednesday, saying it was taking the matter seriously.

The Premier League club did not say whether the forward would be available for selection after he was dropped from his country's two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony and notes that the police are conducting enquiries,” the club said. “As a club we are taking this matter seriously, with consideration of the impact of these allegations and subsequent reporting will have on survivors of abuse.”

On Monday, Brazilian media published details of alleged domestic abuse by Antony against his ex-girlfriend.

The Brazilian soccer confederation said Antony would not be part of the team for games against Bolivia and Peru “due to the facts that became public on Monday.”

United had come under pressure for not commenting sooner, while Antony posted a statement on Instagram before being cut from Brazil's squad, saying: “I vehemently deny the accusations.”

United forward Mason Greenwood was suspended by the club while facing charges of attempted rape and assault, which were eventually dropped in February. Despite that, United announced last month that Greenwood would be leaving the club and the player has since joined Spanish team Getafe on loan.

Antony’s ex-girlfriend reported him to police on May 20 for alleged domestic violence, accusations that he denied in June and again on Monday. Brazilian media published alleged exchanges between the two, in which the player appears to threaten and intimidate the woman on several occasions.

Brazil’s soccer body said the case “needs to be investigated” and that the player’s removal was aimed at protecting him, the alleged victim and the national team.

Sao Paulo police confirmed to The Associated Press that an investigation is ongoing, but did not provide details.

Campaign group End Violence Against Women Coalition called for action after the allegations against Antony came to light.

“The world is watching Manchester United to see how one of the biggest clubs responds to these latest reports of domestic abuse," it said. "We once again call on the Premier League and FA to take meaningful action as it is clear that these are not incidents they can take in isolation, but part of a pattern of behaviour within a culture that enables footballers to perpetrate violence against women with impunity.”


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