Premier League club knew about player rape claims for months – media
A Premier League club was made aware of serious sexual assault allegations made against one of its players late last year but opted to continue selecting the unnamed footballer throughout the remainder of the season, according to The Guardian.
On Monday the player, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested by UK police after they received a report that a woman in her 20s had been raped at a date in June 2022.
The man, who police say is 29-years-old, is understood to be a prominent player for a Premier League club and is expected to be a strong candidate for selection for his national team's World Cup squad ahead of the tournament in Qatar later this year.
The footballer was taken into police custody in the early hours of Monday, July 4 before being released on bail on Tuesday pending further obligations in August.
Authorities subsequently re-arrested the player on suspicion of further sexual assaults while he was in custody.
“On 4 July, an allegation of rape of a woman in her 20s was reported to police,” a Scotland Yard statement detailed.
“It was reported the alleged rape happened in June 2022. On 4 July, a 29-year-old man was arrested at an address in Barnet on suspicion of rape and taken into custody.
“While in custody, he was further arrested on suspicion of two incidents of rape that were alleged to have been committed in April and June of 2021 against a different woman in her 20s. He has subsequently been released on bail to a date in August. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
The club in question has refused to comment on the matter but the report indicates that they continued to select the footballer for first-team duty even after being told that he had been accused of serious sexual assault.
The report comes around five weeks after another Premier League player, Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy, was charged by UK police with an eighth count of rape after a new complainant came forward to police. He is also charged with one count of attempted rape.
Mendy was not suspended by his club following his initial arrest, but the club opted to wait until he was charged by police in August of last year before suspending him. They also continued to select him for the first-team until he was officially charged.