Dunga set to keep Robinho in Brazil squad despite scandal

January 29th, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 29 (DPA) Robinho will remain among the Brazilian players called for national duty in February despite charges of alleged rape against the Manchester City player, said national coach Carlos Dunga.The Manchester City striker, 25, was arrested and questioned by police Tuesday into allegations of a sexual assault at a Leeds nightclub Jan 14.

Robinho was released on bail and, through his official website, has staunchly denied any involvement.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), in turn, issued a statement in which Dunga said he still plans to have the talented striker in the squad for the friendly game against Italy that is set to be played in London on February 10.

“I have no reason to doubt Robinho. He is a player who responded whenever I needed him to, and who with the Brazilian national team has an exemplary behaviour. He is even one of those players who shows the full pleasure of wearing the national team shirt both in games and in training,” the coach stressed.

According to the CBF, Dunga spoke to Robinho, and the player assured him that he was not involved in sexual assault. Instead, the striker claimed to have been a victim of “an opportunist person” and he noted that he fulfilled all the requirements “to clear up the matter as soon as possible.”

The CBF did not say whether these “requirements” included DNA tests. According to British media, Robinho had to undergo such testing Wednesday to prove that he was not involved in the assault.

The forward only last week created a stir when he left the team’s training camp in Tenerife without permission and flew to Brazil.

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