Brazil drop Antony over ex-girlfriend assault claim

Manchester United winger Antony was dropped from Brazil’s squad for upcoming World Cup qualifying games on Monday following allegations of assault made against him by an ex-girlfriend.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said in a statement that Antony had been stood down in order to “preserve the alleged victim, the player, the Brazil team and the CBF.”

Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus will replace Antony in the squad for the games against Bolivia on September 8 and Peru on September 12.

Antony, 23, on Monday denied physically assaulting ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin in a statement on Instagram, stating he was the “victim of false accusations.”

“I can calmly affirm that the accusations are false, and that evidence already produced and that will be produced will show that I am innocent,” Antony said.

The denial came after Brazilian press reports published WhatsApp messages reputedly between Antony and Cavallin in which the player allegedly threatens his ex-partner.

In one of the conversations cited by local media, Cavallin says he must apologize for “kicks and assaults.”

Antony then appears to reply “sorry” in response.

Cavallin is also shown in one photo with an apparent head wound.

Antony said in his Instagram post that his relationship with Cavallin was “tumultuous, with verbal abuse on both sides.”

However he denied assaulting her. “I never practiced physical aggression,” he said.

“At each moment, she presents a different version of the accusations,” Antony added.

“I am confident that the ongoing police investigations will prove the truth,” he concluded.

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