Pressure mounts on Manchester United to address allegations of assault involving Antony
Manchester United are facing further trouble within their personnel after winger Antony was accused of assault by his ex-girlfriend, resulting in his removal from the national squad for World Cup qualifying games. Just weeks ago, the club had already severed ties with Mason Greenwood, who faced similar allegations. These incidents have compounded an already challenging start to the Premier League season for the Red Devils, with their form being inconsistent and the Glazer family, the club’s owners, failing to attract a satisfactory offer for the club. Amidst all this, Manchester United’s immediate concern is how to handle the Antony case.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has stated that Antony was stood down from the national squad to preserve the alleged victim, the player himself, the Brazil team, and the CBF. Antony, in response, denied the physical assault allegations made by Gabriela Cavallin in a statement on Instagram, claiming that he was the victim of false accusations. These allegations were further fueled by the publication of WhatsApp messages between Antony and Cavallin, where Antony seemed to threaten his ex-partner. Cavallin also appeared in one of the photos with a head wound.
The Greater Manchester Police have acknowledged the allegations and confirmed that investigations are ongoing. Antony joined Manchester United last year for a transfer fee of 95 million euros but has struggled to consistently perform well, scoring just eight goals in 48 games. However, football-related matters might take a back seat for the club as they deal with the aftermath of the Greenwood case.
Greenwood, the 21-year-old English striker, had faced charges including attempted rape and assault, but the case was dropped in February due to key witnesses withdrawing and new evidence emerging. Reports in August that the club intended to keep Greenwood prompted public outcry, eventually leading to the decision for him to rebuild his career elsewhere, resulting in his loan to Getafe in Spain. Manchester United is likely to face intense pressure to take action regarding Antony while investigations into his case unfold.
This incident occurs against the backdrop of a controversy in Spain, where the president of the Spanish football federation, Luis Rubiales, kissed Spanish midfielder Jenni Hermoso following their Women’s World Cup victory. This incident sparked a wider debate about the treatment of women, and the Spanish football federation has since issued an apology for Rubiales’ behavior.
Manchester United has some time to address these issues as their next match is scheduled for September 16th, after the international break. However, the Antony case is an unwelcome addition to the club’s already turbulent start to the season. The team, who finished third last season, has suffered two defeats in their first four Premier League games and has also faced several injuries to crucial players such as Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, and new signing Mason Mount. Additionally, manager Erik ten Hag is grappling with a public fallout with Jadon Sancho, who was not included in the squad for their recent defeat against Arsenal, leading to a heated exchange on social media. Manchester United’s problems seem to be growing as the season progresses.