A Spanish court on Friday ordered Brazilian defender Dani Alves to be taken into custody without bail after he was arrested in Barcelona on charges of sexually assaulting a woman.
The Barcelona referee took the step after questioning the 39-year-old regarding “events that allegedly took place at the nightclub,” the court said in a statement.
A source close to the dossier said the judge took the step prosecutors wanted because the court felt there was a risk that Alves would try to escape.
His club, Mexico’s Pumas, announced a few hours later that they had fired the player for what he called “good cause.”
Alves, one of the most successful footballers, was taken into custody earlier Friday after being called to the Barcelona police station and then brought before a judge.
Catalan police said they received a complaint on January 2 from a woman who accused Alves of sexual assault.
A sexual assault allegation in Spain can mean anything from unwanted and unwanted sexual harassment to rape.
While the police declined to give details on the case, a source close to the investigation told AFP that Alves is being charged with rape.
The source added that the woman repeated her accusation in front of a judge on Friday.
According to Spanish media reports, the alleged sexual assault took place in a popular nightclub in Barcelona on the night of December 30-31.
The ABC daily newspaper reported that Alves allegedly stuck his hands under a woman’s underwear without her consent while she was dancing with friends and then followed her to the bathroom.
She is said to have informed the club’s security staff, who activated the Barcelona City Council’s protocol against assault and sexual harassment.
– ‘Nothing bad happened’ –
Earlier this month, a Barcelona court said it had opened an investigation into “alleged sex offense following a complaint filed by a woman against a football player.”
Alves confirmed he was at the nightclub at the time but denied any wrongdoing, telling private Spanish channel Antena 3 earlier this month that he had “never seen” the woman before.
“I was there, in the place where more people had fun. Everyone knows that I love to dance. Have a good time, but don’t invade other people’s space,” added the former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain player.
His wife, Spanish model Joana Sanz, told Antena 3 in an interview on Jan. 9 that her husband left on Dec. 30 to “dine with friends to unwind a bit.”
“He went dancing and tried to enjoy the music the way he liked, period. Nothing bad happened… I know how respectful he is,” she added.
Alves was on holiday in Barcelona after participating in the World Cup with Brazil in Qatar.
He was the oldest player to represent Brazil at the Men’s World Cup.
During his phenomenally successful career, Alves made 408 appearances for Barcelona, 391 of which were in his first spell from 2008 to 2016.
During this initial tenure, he won six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns and four Copa del Rey trophies.
Alves joined PSG in July 2017 on a free transfer after leaving Juventus and spent two years with the French giants owned by Qatar.
He was signed by Pumas last July after leaving Barcelona for the second time.
The Cougars, who are affiliated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said on Friday that they have terminated Alves’ contract.
“The club reiterates its commitment not to condone the actions of any member of our institution, whoever they may be, that are contrary to the university spirit and its values,” Pumas boss Leopoldo Silva told reporters.