Boca players Edwin Cardona and Wilmar Barrios will not play in tonight’s pre-season match against Aldosivi in Mar del Plata after news surfaced of a criminal complaint against the players related to two women.
Cardona and Wilmar are accused of “threats, violence and illegitimate deprivation of freedom.”
The women, who have not been identified, reported the alleged abuse to a judge in Buenos Aires. A federal court is investigating the allegations, which the unidentified women have promised to back up with hard evidence.
Neither Cardona nor Barrios had appeared before the prosecutor, despite having been called in to testify.
“They are the disposal of the Judiciary,” their lawyer Miguel Angel Pierri told reporters, playing down the accusations.
The lawyer confirmed that the women accuse the Boca players of illegally depriving them of their liberty and injuring them on January 13, when they visited an apartment where the players were meant to get a haircut. The Colombia-born players deny any wrongdoing.
"I'm hurt and saddened by everything that's being said. I have a wife and three children," Cardona told local radio.
Pierri said his clients were in the apartment just to "cut their hair" with their long-time barber, and that they will cooperate with the investigation.
Juan Cerolini, an attorney for one of the women, said they are hair stylists. He said the barber had asked them to come to the apartment following a request by the players. The women allege that the players later caused the injuries and threatened them with a knife.
Cerolini said the players had been drinking alcohol. He also stated that they did not try to sexually abuse the women, throwing doubt over the exact charges levelled against the Colombian national team players.
Boca was distancing itself from the scandal on Wednesday and sidelined the players for tonight’s match on the coastal city of Mar del Plata.
Boca Juniors President Daniel Angelici is expected to meet with Cardona and Barrios on Wednesday.
"We have to remain calm and wait for the evidence," Angelici told Fox Sports Radio. "And we won't hesitate to act in the correct manner."
Another player, Frank Fabra, was also sidelined. Fabra has been named as a witness in the investigation.
Initial rumours indicated the players were going to travel to Mar del Plata for an emergency meeting with club president Daniel Angelici, but neither made it onboard the bus that left at midday for the coast.