Manchester United fan Rachel Riley has called for domestic abuse experts to be involved in the club’s processes after serious allegations emerged concerning the previous relationship of winger Antony.
The Brazilian international’s ex-girlfriend, Gabriela Cavallin, has come forward with disturbing claims, including threats made by Antony while she was pregnant, damage to her breast implant, injuries inflicted with glass, and threats of harm while in a speeding car.
Antony Dropped from Brazil Squad
In response to these allegations, the Brazil national team has made the decision to drop Antony from the squad in order to safeguard the alleged victim.
This development follows Antony’s previous denial of similar allegations made in June.
Greenwood’s Loan to Getafe
This controversy comes in the wake of another contentious decision by Manchester United, allowing Mason Greenwood to join LaLiga side Getafe on loan after a six-month investigation.
Greenwood had faced charges of attempted rape and assault, which were later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Rachel Riley’s Stand
Rachel Riley has been vocal in her opposition to Manchester United’s decision to reintegrate Greenwood into the squad after the investigation concluded.
She expressed concerns that the club’s support for Greenwood was sending the wrong message about addressing abuse within the sport.
Calls for Due Diligence
On social media, Rachel Riley questioned whether proper due diligence was being conducted on the players, emphasizing the need for domestic abuse experts to be involved in the club’s processes.
This raises the possibility of increased pressure on Manchester United to respond to the allegations against Antony in a manner consistent with their actions in the wake of the Greenwood allegations.
Allegations Against Antony
Gabriela Cavallin, who followed Antony to Manchester when he joined United from Ajax for £85 million, alleges that multiple attacks occurred, including one in June last year and another in January 2023, resulting in injuries such as a dislodged breast implant and a cut head.
She also claimed that Antony had threatened her life while she was pregnant during a holiday in Brazil in June 2022.
Legal Action and Evidence
Cavallin has taken legal action by filing a complaint against Antony with Greater Manchester Police.
She has shared WhatsApp screenshots and photos of her injuries, shedding light on the alleged abuse.
Antony had previously responded to similar allegations last summer, stating that he had never engaged in physical aggression.
Manchester United’s Response
As of now, Manchester United has chosen not to comment on the allegations against Antony.
However, their response may come under scrutiny, especially as Rachel Riley and other United fans have voiced concerns and called for a more comprehensive approach to handling such cases in football.
Advocacy for Improved Protocols
The Female Fans Against Greenwood’s Return group has also expressed outrage over the allegations against Antony and urged clubs and football authorities to enhance their response to such issues.
They emphasized the need for protocols that prioritize the welfare of all parties involved and called for the involvement of charities and organizations specializing in supporting survivors and addressing abuse within the football industry.