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Domestic Violence: what people are saying about Manchester United’s decision on Antony

Manchester United's decision received mixed reception
Manchester United's decision received mixed reception

Manchester United’s decision to bring Antony, who is being accused of abuse by three women, back to the club’s first team has attracted a harsh spotlight, and it seems the road before Manchester United will be harder than the club had imagined.


According to the club’s official statement, ‘Since allegations were first made in June, Antony has cooperated with police inquiries in both Brazil and the UK, and he continues to do so.’

Antony has neither been arrested for the charges nor found guilty of them. The Brazilian winger also denied all the allegations being brought against him by the women, but the cases are still being investigated.

‘As Antony’s employer, Manchester United has decided that he will resume training at Carrington, and be available for selection, while police inquiries proceed,’ said Manchester United in their statement.

‘This will be kept under review pending further developments in the case. As a club we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.’

As things stand, Antony is innocent until proven guilty.

While speaking to Caught Offside, a former Liverpool player, Stan Collymore, revealed he could relate to Antony’s present situation at Manchester United.

‘This is obviously a situation I can relate to. Back when I was involved in a domestic abuse incident that saw me hit out at Urika Johnson, I was at Aston Villa at the time, and I was immediately recalled to the squad,’ Collymore recalled. ‘I wasn’t dropped by the club. But that was a very different time and that doesn’t happen anymore; as we’ve seen recently with Mason Greenwood, and rightly so, may I add.

‘It is important to note that any allegations made against Antony at this stage are exactly that; they’re allegations. We do not know if the winger is innocent or guilty of the crimes he has been accused of. However, once the ongoing investigation is concluded, if he is deemed to have done what he has been accused of, it is obvious Manchester United will cut ties with him.

‘They wouldn’t even need to test the waters in terms of public response. Following what happened with Greenwood recently, when the club were deliberating over whether or not to reinstate him, the backlash confirmed what fans’ thoughts on the situation were, so there would be no hesitation over getting rid of Antony.’

A female speaker for a group called Women’s Aid thinks the club should work together with some groups, in cases such as Antony’s. Here is what she said.

‘We know that this morning’s news from Manchester United about their player, Antony, returning to training and selection while police inquiries continue will have an impact on survivors of domestic abuse. We urge the national football organisations to work with specialist services, like Women’s Aid, to provide much-needed guidance for clubs on domestic abuse and the handling of domestic abuse cases. An informed and consistent approach is vital in order to create a society where domestic abuse is not tolerated and we will be writing to the national organisations to raise this.’

There might be unsavoury scenes at the spectators’ corner in the matches Antony would play in. The club’s decision has set up hurdles they might not be prepared to jump over.

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