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Brazil great Falcao quits job after assault accusation

Retired Brazilian football legend Paulo Roberto Falcao has resigned from his job as sports coordinator at iconic club Santos after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her, an allegation he denied.

The woman, a receptionist at the building where Falcao lives in Santos, said the former footballer, who played a starring role on Brazil’s 1982 World Cup team, had pressed his genitals against her arm on two occasions while she was at her desk, according to Brazilian media reports.

Falcao, 69, denied the accusation.

“Out of respect for Santos FC’s fans… I have decided to leave the position of sports coordinator, effective today,” the former midfielder said Friday in a statement on social media.

“My intention, first and foremost, is to protect the image of the institution. As for the accusation made today, which I was shocked to learn of from the media, I affirm it never happened.”

Santos, the former club of late Brazilian icon Pele, confirmed in a brief statement that Falcao had left the job, which he had held since November last year.

Police have reportedly opened an investigation of the case.

Falcao was nicknamed the “King of Rome” for his glittering career at Roma in the 1980s. FIFA included him on a list of the 125 greatest living footballers in 2004.

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