David De Gea to play in Spain’s opening match at Euro 2016
Manchester United goalkeeper was in doubt over allegations of providing prostitutes for two other soccer players in 2012
After a weekend during which his position in the Spanish national soccer side hung in the balance, David De Gea will start Monday’s match at 3pm against the Czech Republic.
The Spanish-born Manchester United player has denied accusations that emerged on Friday of arranging a sexual encounter in a Madrid hotel in 2012 between two soccer players and two women, one of whom claims they were both assaulted. De Gea himself was not present at the alleged encounter.
The allegations were made in a statement by a protected witness in an ongoing rape case against Spanish pornography producer Ignacio Fernández Allende – better known as Torbe. Fernández Allende was arrested in April on charges related to prostitution, human trafficking for sexual exploitation, sexual assault, child pornography, extortion and money laundering. He remains in custody.
De Gea denies any knowledge of the matter, but allegations have been made that he exchanged WhatsApp messages with Fernández Allende.
The first person who was surprised by this news story was me. It's a lie. David De Gea
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the opening day of Euro 2016, where he was assumed to be coach Vicente Del Bosque’s first choice in goal for the national side in its crucial opening game, De Gea told reporters: “The first person who was surprised by this news story was me. It's a lie.”
He refused to answer further questions about whether he had texted Fernández Allende, saying only: “This will only make me stronger. It's false. Those who know me well know that this is false; my family's mind is at ease. It’s now in the hands of my lawyers.”
According to leading Spanish sports daily AS, the Spanish police’s report on the witness’ statement says the following:
“Having brought TP3 (Protected Witness 3) to the room with the other girl, Torbe told her that they had to be with the soccer players, and that they had to do whatever the latter wanted and that they [the girls] would earn significant money. When TP3 refused, Torbe took her roughly by the arm, saying they had to do whatever the footballer wanted, having sex with the new girl and herself”.
“Both the new girl and TP3 were sexually assaulted by the footballers; if they refused they were physically attacked by both, and after having satisfied the sexual desires of both players, the footballers threatened them in order to ensure that what had happened in the room would never be heard about. Neither TP3 or the other girl who was in the room received anything for the physical and sexual assault they suffered, with Torbe taking all the earnings”.
Tipped to succeed former Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas as the national side’s first-choice keeper, De Gea served as deputy in the 2014 World Cup. In September of that year, he made his first start for Spain, playing against France in a friendly. He played his first competitive international a month later in a 4–0 win away to Luxembourg in a qualifying match for Euro 2016. On May 31, he was included by Del Bosque in the final 23-man Spanish squad for the competition.
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English version by Nick Lyne.