In response to allegations of sexual assault against Dani Alves, who was arrested earlier this week, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez issued an apology on Sunday.
The 39-year-old defender is being kept in detention in Barcelona without bail after being fired by his Mexican team Pumas following his arrest.
In Spain, a sexual assault charge can refer to anything from unwanted and uninvited groping to rape.
Dani Alves is charged with rape by a woman, according to a source familiar with the inquiry, even though police declined to comment further on the matter.
In addition to expressing outrage over the accusations and Alves’ arrest, Xavi had already stated on Saturday that he “felt horrible” for Alves, but he made no mention of the alleged victim.
After Barcelona’s 1-0 La Liga victory over Getafe on Sunday, Xavi remarked, “Yesterday what I wanted to say about Dani Alves was misread. Perhaps I was not forceful enough with my comments, and it is vital that I explain myself.
“I failed to mention the victims yesterday, and this is a really gruesome topic. It wasn’t a suitable remark.
Whether Dani or anyone else committed the deed, it must be denounced. I apologize to the victim and to all who have experienced this kind of violation as well as gender abuse.
Alves, who spent eight seasons playing for Barcelona between 2008 and 2016, briefly returned to the Catalans last season under his former teammate Xavi.
According to Catalan police, a lady accused Alves of sexual assault on her on January 2.
According to Spanish media accounts, the alleged sexual assault happened over the course of the night of December 30 and 31 at a well-known Barcelona nightclub.
Alves played a significant role in Barcelona’s heyday, helping the team to six La Liga championships and three Champions League triumphs.
Among other teams, the Brazilian has played for Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain, and Juventus.