Brazil’s national soccer team dropped Manchester United’s Antony Matheus dos Santos on Monday after new domestic violence allegations were levied against him.
Antony was set to compete with Brazil during upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Bolivia and Peru, but the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF) released him from international duty on Monday over the allegations, according to ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Antony’s ex-girlfriend first filed a police report against him in Brazil in June, where she alleged four previous incidents of domestic violence, bodily injury and threat. According to the BBC, Antony allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend “with a headbutt” when they were in a Manchester hotel room in January. She said she was also punched in the chest during that incident, and that she needed surgery as a result.
New allegations were then made against Antony on Monday, which is what led to the CBF moving to release him.
“Due to the facts that became public this Monday involving Manchester United player Antony, and which need to be investigated, and in order to safeguard the alleged victim, the player, the Brazilian team and the CBF, the organization informs that the athlete has been withdrawn from the Brazilian team,” the organization said, via ESPN.
A complaint was also filed to police in Manchester, England. The Greater Manchester Police said in a statement on Monday that they were “aware of the allegations,” and that “enquiries remain open.” Manchester United said it was aware of the CBF’s move to release Antony, but did not comment further.
Antony is in his second season with Manchester United, where he landed after a run with Ajax in 2022. The 23-year-old has made four starts this season, and played in nearly all of the club’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal on Sunday. Antony played for Brazil in the World Cup in Qatar last year, too, and he has scored twice in 16 games for the Brazilian national team.
Antony denied the allegations against him in an Instagram story on Monday.
"Out of respect for my fans, friends and family, I feel obligated to speak publicly about the false accusations I have been a victim of,” he wrote, as translated by ESPN. “From the beginning I have handled this issue seriously and with respect, providing the due clarifications to the police authority.
"The police inquest is under the cover of justice and therefore I cannot make its content public. However, I can say with confidence that the accusations are false and the evidence already produced and more to be produced show that I am innocent of the accusations made."