Barca Coach Xavi Apologises For Comment After Alves Accusations

Xavi had said Saturday he was in a state of shock after learning of the allegations and arrest, but also that he "felt bad" for Alves, while not mentioning the alleged victim.


File photo: Xavier Hernández Creus, also known as Xavi. Philip FONG / AFP

 

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez apologised Sunday for a comment he had made about Dani Alves, who was arrested earlier this week following sexual assault allegations.

The 39-year-old defender, sacked by his Mexican club Pumas after his arrest, is being held in custody without bail in Barcelona.

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The charge of sexual assault in Spain can mean anything from unsolicited and unwanted sexual groping to rape.

While police declined to give details on the case, a source close to the investigation told AFP that Alves is accused by a woman of rape.

Xavi had said Saturday he was in a state of shock after learning of the allegations and arrest, but also that he “felt bad” for Alves, while not mentioning the alleged victim.

“Yesterday what I wanted to say about Dani Alves was misinterpreted, perhaps I was not forceful enough with my words and it is important that I explain myself,” said Xavi on Sunday after Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Getafe in La Liga.

“It is a very lurid subject and yesterday I forgot to talk about the victims. It wasn’t an appropriate comment.

“All actions of this type must be condemned, whether Dani or anyone else did it. I apologise to the victim, to the victims of both gender violence and this type of violation.”

Alves, who played for Barcelona for eight seasons between 2008-2016, rejoined the Catalans for a short spell last season under his former team-mate Xavi.

Catalonian police said they received a complaint on January 2 from a woman who accused Alves of sexual assault.

The alleged sexual assault took place at a popular Barcelona nightclub overnight December 30-31, according to Spanish media reports.

Alves was a key player in Barcelona’s golden era, winning three Champions League trophies with the club, and six La Liga titles.

The Brazilian also played for Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus among other sides.

AFP