Atletico Madrid parts ways with trainer accused of pedophilia

Atletico Madrid said once it was "made aware of the accusations" of sexual abuse against minors, they stopped working with Manuel Brinas (pictured May 2018). AFP/File/GABRIEL BOUYS

Atletico Madrid announced Thursday it had parted ways with Manuel Brinas, who trained its young players for decades and recognised in an interview he had sexually abused a student in the 1970s.

“Once we were made aware of the accusations, Manuel Brinas stopped collaborating with Atletico Madrid,” the Spanish football club said in a statement.

The man who made the accusations to the El Pais daily, identified as Miguel M. H., 59, says he was the victim of fondling and one forced fellation between 1973 and 1975.

He was studying at the Catholic school where Brinas worked that also had sporting academies where Atletico Madrid came to recruit young players.

In 2000, these were integrated directly into the club.

In an interview published Wednesday in El Pais, Brinas admitted the abuse but said it was sporadic and that it happened at a bad time for him.

“It was an accident, after the death of the woman whom I was going to marry and that’s it,” he was quoted as saying.

“It only happened once or twice.”

Miguel, however, said it took place over three years.

By then, Brinas had taken orders and belonged to the Society of Mary, which said in a statement it was going to open a probe in the matter.

On Thursday, El Pais unveiled four new testimonies by other former students at the school.

They allege they too were sexually abused by Brinas until the 1980s when they were 10 to 14 years old.

today in print