The president of a Paraguayan soccer club has denied allegations he forced one of his players into a sexual relationship in order to further his career, insisting that a photo appearing to show the pair in an intimate pose was released "out of spite."
Antonio Gonzalez, president of soccer club Rubio Ñu de Luque, is accused by 26-year-old Bernardo Gabriel Caballero of coercing the young player into an unwanted sexual relationship.
A photo, which went viral after it was released anonymously on Facebook, appears to show the two men in an intimate bedroom pose, but Caballero's attorney, Valentin Ozuna, insists the relationship was not consensual.
Gonzalez, who has accused Caballero of publishing the compromising photo out of spite after he was forced to leave the club, insists that the two men were in a romantic relationship at the time.
He has since lashed out at Caballero, calling him a "bandit, swindler, whore, asshole, and malnourished pig."
"We are going to be sincere: he is a person who was with me here in Rubio Ñu for more than two years; he was a special person for me," Gonzalez said.
"In short, he was my partner and he had all the privileges: vehicles that he never thought of in his life. He drove Mercedes Benz, Land Cruiser, Prado, Hilux."
Gonzalez also claims Caballero cost him more than US$1,500 for a transfer to Juventud de Bella Vista.
In a radio interview, Caballero explained that as a young athlete, aged 18, he was approached by Gonzalez, who promised him an international career.
"Antonio told me he was an entrepreneur and that he had many players in his possession, he promised that he would represent me, that he could send me to play abroad, that I would not miss anything, and he would get me a house to live.
"I do not wish anybody or another young player who wants to emerge in football to experience what I went through," he said, noting that Gonzalez said if he "came out in a picture with him," he would in turn help Caballero's career.
Caballero's attorney has also defended his client. In a radio interview with AM La Union, Ozuna said: "I do not know whether to call it a relationship because he (Caballero) was forced him to be with him (Gonzalez).
"He was never his sentimental partner and, as far as Bernardo being in Hilux, Prado, I do not know what... Why was he in a normal house, with a normal vehicle? It's illogical."
Ozuna has said that when he threatened to take legal action, Gonzalez responded that Caballero could forget about being a professional soccer player.
Ozuna retorted that the threat was meaningless because Caballero was "thinking about retiring or stoppíng playing for two years; he's tired," according to AM La Union.
The lawyer also reported three armed people outside the athlete's home Wednesday night. The trio vanished after police were called, but a complaint has been filed with the Prosecutor's office.