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Dani Alves arrested over sexual-assault accusations: what happened when?

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves is being held without bail after his arrest over allegations that he sexually abused a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves is being held without bail after his arrest over allegations that he sexually abused a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.
Adrian Macias

On Friday, the football world was stunned by the news that Dani Alves has been detained in Spain over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in a Barcelona nightclub at the end of December.

In the wake of Alves’ arrest, the Brazil international’s club, Liga MX side Pumas, announced the termination of the player’s contract. The 39-year-old is currently being held in a Spanish jail without the possibility of bail.

This is a timeline so far of a case that has shaken the global game:

Six more months with Pumas

After Alves’ involvement in the 2022 World Cup with Brazil, there was uncertainty over his future at Pumas. It was by no means a given that the former Barcelona player would return to Mexico.

However, on 1 January, Alves took to social media to confirm that he would be staying with the seven-time Liga MX champions for six months more.

“We’re going to go into round two with the confidence and character that are our identity,” he wrote. “I’m always positive and itching to make history for the club. See you soon, Pumas.”

Sexual-assault allegation emerges

During the first week of January, reports in the Spanish media revealed that a woman had accused Alves of sexually abusing her in the bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub on 30 December.

The woman reported the incident to the Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s police force.

Alves makes public denial

In the wake of the allegations, Alves appeared on the Spanish television show ‘Y ahora Sonsoles’ to deny any wrongdoing.

I’d like to deny everything,” he said. “I was there, I was with other people having a good time. Everyone knows me and knows that I love to dance, but without invading other people’s space, always respecting those around me.”

Returns to Mexico

Following the end of Alves’ post-World Cup break, the right-back returned to Mexico and rejoined Pumas training ahead of the Liga MX Clausura 2023 tournament.

On 8 January, he played 45 minutes in his club’s Clausura 2023 opener against FC Juárez.

Enforced absence

On 13 January, it was revealed that the mother of Alves’ wife, Joana Sanz, had died.

With Pumas’ permission, Alves travelled to Spain to join Sanz in mourning his mother-in-law’s passing, forcing him to miss Pumas’ league clash with Santos Laguna the following day.

Having arrived on Spanish soil, the player was advised by his lawyers to offer a voluntary statement to police about the sexual-assault allegations against him.

Alves arrested

On Friday, Alves visited a Barcelona police station to make a statement, and was arrested. He was then taken to a court in the Catalan capital, where a judge ordered that he be provisionally held in jail without bail.

Further details of the complaint made against him emerged. As reported by the Spanish newspaper El Periódico, the woman claims he “hit and raped” her in the Sutton nightclub, which is located in the city’s upmarket Sant-Gervasi Galvany area.

Player taken to jail

Alves was taken to the Brians 1 prison in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, some 40km outside Barcelona.

According to prison sources consulted by the Spanish news agency Europa Press, the player is currently in a block for recent arrivals, before a decision is made on which part of the penitentiary facility will house him.

Pumas end Alves’ contract

Following Alves’ arrest, Pumas president Leopoldo Silva announced that the club has opted to end his contract.

“With this decision, the club reiterates its commitment to not tolerate actions that go against the spirit and values of our institution - whoever they are committed by,” Silva said.

Liga MX backs Pumas decision

In a statement, the Liga MX expressed its support for Pumas’ decision to release Alves.

“We would like to reiterate our rejection of any conduct that goes against the values that football seeks to promote,” the league said.


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