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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Anthony France

Two teenage Premier League footballers arrested over rape claim

Two teenage Premier League footballers have been arrested in connection with an alleged rape, according to reports.

Police are said to have swooped on a stadium at the weekend but only one player aged 19 was there.

He was spoken at the ground on suspicion of assault and aiding and abetting a rape.

Sources told The Sun newspaper he was allowed to leave after a brief interview before being arrested later that night and quizzed by detectives under caution.

His teammate, also 19, was detained the following day and questioned on suspicion of rape, it reported.

Police said the pair had been released on bail pending further inquiries.

The incident is said to have taken place on Friday night. The alleged victim contacted officers hours later and filed a formal complaint.

A police spokesman told the Standard: “Officers have arrested two men following a report of a rape.

“A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and aiding and abetting a rape.

“A second 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape.

“Both men have since been released on police bail.”

The Sun quoted a source claiming: “One of the players was at the club’s stadium. The police arrived wanting to speak to him.

“He was taken to a private room within the ground and was spoken to by police.

“The player left the club with another individual and was formally arrested by police later that night.”

According to the reports, club insiders said talks had already begun over the “next steps” but it is unclear if the two arrested players have been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation.

A spokesman for the team said: “As the matter is now in the hands of the police, the club will not be making further comment at this stage.”

The Premier League has been plagued by a series of high-profile sex scandals.

Last year, a BBC News investigation found clubs have continued to play two footballers, and kept a boss in post, while knowing they are under police investigation for sexual or domestic violence.

Alleged victims claimed the Football Association and Premier League prioritise commercial interests over the safety of women.

Seven out of 20 Premier League clubs have had players or bosses investigated by the police for sexual offences since 2020, the BBC said.

Man United striker Mason Greenwood, 22, was suspended in 2022 after he was arrested for attempted rape.

The case was later dropped and he is now on loan at Spanish La Liga side Getafe.

Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy, 29, was cleared of multiple rapes after two trials last year and is now at French side Lorient.

Their cases and others prompted the Premier League to launch sexual consent lessons for all players.

Dame Caroline Dinenage, chairwoman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, told the BBC she was concerned as footballers have an “incredible amount of influence”.

She added: “There are generations of young people that look up to them.”

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