Antony will take a “period of absence” from Manchester United to address the allegations of violence against women, and will not play or train until further notice. The decision was agreed between the player and club and is not a suspension, but a leave of absence on full pay.
United will continue to review the situation as it develops, with manager Erik ten Hag having been consulted in the decision-making process by chief executive Richard Arnold.
Antony was last week omitted from the Brazil squad after accusations of physical aggression towards his former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, which are being investigated by the police and he strongly 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 has 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”.
Lana said that Antony “tried to have a relationship with me and I didn’t want to”, adding: “My purpose was just business. Arriving there, at his invitation, I realised that he had ulterior motives.”
A club statement read: “Manchester United acknowledges the allegations made against Antony. 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.”
This was accompanied by a statement from Antony himself.
“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.”