Latin America & Caribbean

Paraguay players accuse football club's ex-boss of abuse

A screen grab of a video posted on Facebook by Antonio González Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Antonio González defended himself in a video, saying the relationship had been consensual

The ex-president of a fourth division football club in Paraguay has been accused of sexually abusing players, which he denies.

At least two players have come forward to say they were abused by Antonio González, who until recently ran Rubio Ñu club in the city of Luque.

The allegations against Mr González were made after an intimate photo of him with a player emerged.

A prosecutor is investigating the allegations.

Prosecutor Teresa Martínez also ordered a search of the club's premises during which investigators found pornographic material.

Allegations widen

The scandal first came to light when a photo was posted anonymously on Facebook showing Mr González lying next to 26-year-old player Bernardo Gabriel Caballero.

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Following the photo's publication, Mr González said he had had a two-year relationship with Mr Caballero.

In a video he posted on Facebook, he accused Mr Caballero of wanting to leave him for another man and tore up his contract while calling him names and telling him "you can forget about playing football".

Mr Caballero has since alleged that their relationship was not consensual.

He said that Mr González had told him he would not be allowed to play for the club unless he had sexual relations with him.

"I know there were other players who had relations with him," the player said. "It was normal and I have proof that other lads went through the same thing."

On Monday, a second player, Fermín Morinigo, went to the authorities and made allegations of abuse against Mr González.

Physical abuse allegations

"It wasn't just harassment, there was physical abuse if you refused to do as he asked," Mr Morinigo's lawyer, Reinaldo Acosta, said.

Mr Acosta said that Mr González had threatened to harm his client and his family if he ever told anyone about it.

The lawyer alleged that the physical abuse against his client had started when the player was only 17 years old.

The local football association said its records showed that Mr González was no longer listed as the club's president although he was still listed as manager of another club, Marte Atlético.

A spokesman for the association said Mr González had passed on the job of president of Rubio Ñu to his nephew "after a disagreement" with football authorities.

It is not clear when he ceased being the president and the videos he recorded show him speaking in front of Rubio Ñu banners.

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