Corinthians rejects striker after reaction to assault case

By MAURICIO SAVARESE

AP Sports Writer

SAO PAULO (AP) Brazilian champion Corinthians has decided against signing a 19-year-old striker accused of assaulting a former girlfriend after supporters flooded its social media channels with complaints.

The Sao Paulo-based club said in a statement that Sport Recife's Juninho would not be arriving "because of numerous protests by female and male fans."

Juninho was in Sao Paulo to conclude the deal when the club issued the statement. He is accused of assaulting and threatening a former girlfriend last year, but denies the claims.

Corinthians said it was giving up on the deal because "the feminist cause overtakes any other considerations."

Juninho's attorney Ernesto Cavalcanti said the club's decision was "absurd" and promised to sue.

"They are trying, but they will not transform this young man into a criminal. He made a mistake and is trying to recover," Cavalcanti told Radio Jornal.

Juninho's former girlfriend, who has not been named by police, told investigators last October that the relationship lasted five months and was full of violent incidents.

Updated August 10, 2018

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