Brazil drop Manchester United’s Antony over domestic violence claims

Brazilian football federation has replaced the Manchester United player with Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus.

Brazil's Antony
Manchester United striker Antony Matheus dos Santos has been dismissed from Brazil's national team over allegations of physical assault by his ex-girlfriend [File: Hannah Mckay/Reuters]

Manchester United footballer Antony Matheus dos Santos, popularly known as Antony, has been dropped from Brazil’s national squad over allegations of domestic violence.

“As a result of the facts that came to light on Monday (04/09) involving Manchester United striker Antony, and which need to be investigated … the athlete has been dismissed from the Seleτao,” CBF, the Brazilian football federation, said in a statement on Monday.

To replace the 23-year-old, coach Fernando Diniz called Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus, who was preselected from a list of 36 players sent to FIFA.

Brazil is preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

Local media had previously reported the allegations – made by Antony’s former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin – of physical assault.

According to the sports portal Globoesporte, the case was already the subject of a police investigation when Antony was called up to the squad, but the content of some of the allegations had not yet been made public.

The player again denied the allegations on Instagram on Monday, 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 threatened his ex-partner.

Five-time world champions Brazil will face Bolivia on September 8 and Peru on September 12 in their opening qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies