Boca Juniors’ forward Sebastián Villa is at the centre of domestic violence claims after his partner Daniela Cortes accused the 23-year-old of physical and psychological abuse.
On April 27, Cortes published photos and videos on her social media accounts showing evidence of injuries alleged to have been caused by Villa. Daniela, who is also Colombian, was living with Villa in Argentina, and was unable to return to stay to her home country of Colombia due to the border closures during the current pandemic.
On Instagram, Cortes recounted her experience, saying: “Unfortunately, I have to do this today because I can’t take it anymore. It was two years of us living together and many sufferings which I forgave and forgave, blows I took hoping for a change from him that never happened.
I do this with fear because this is a man that on camera seems intelligent, and a man who speaks maturely, but the reality is different. He not only abused me physically, but psychologically as well.”
Daniela filed a formal complaint against Villa in Argentina, and obtained a restraining order against him. The complaint lays out her disturbing domestic abuse allegations in detail, including an allegation of threats to her and family in Colombia, “saying that he will harm my life and that of my family by calling bad people who work in my city.”
After hearing Daniela’s story, Alexandra Marin, one of Villa’s previous girlfriends, stated on her social media that she was also mistreated by the soccer player, but fortunately was able to get out of the relationship before things escalated. Alexandra concluded her statement by saying: “The only thing I ask for is that you leave after the first sign of aggression. Don’t stay there, because when they do it once, they will keep on doing it. And don’t stay quiet and do what a lot of us do, because sometimes we stay quiet to not involve our family.”
Villa has denied any wrongdoing and responded via his own Instagram account: “As a result of what is being seen on social networks, I wanted to tell them that I have my mother, my sisters, my nieces, my cousins; I have women in my family.
“I do not know with what intention this is being published. Starting tomorrow I will begin to clarify the situation with the indicated people.”
Boca Juniors released a statement regarding the situation: “Boca Juniors reports that, given the facts of public knowledge that involve a player from the team, it is already in contact with the player’s lawyers and representatives to explore the episode and take the corresponding measures.
“From now on, the club is put at the disposal of the police in order to do everything it can to collaborate for the clarification of the event, in accordance with our commitment in matters of human rights and gender issues.”
The allegations come at a time when the topic of domestic violence is being heavily discussed and while Boca come under pressure to act swiftly the club are allowing legal proceedings to run their course. With the season cancelled and the squad not training, Villa remains in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as yet has not been suspended despite many calling for a stronger approach.
Argentina’s national domestic violence service hotline can be accessed by dialing 144. The hotline provides 24-hour assistance, 365 days. It is anonymous and free.
Alexia Furmanski is an Argentinean born, Miami raised, soccer fanatic. When she’s not hunting for the cities best restaurants, you can find her screaming at the TV, rooting for River Plate or Tottenham – or if she’s really lucky: finding cheap flights to follow them wherever they play.