Police who arrested a prominent Premier League footballer for three alleged rapes are understood to have received the first complaints about him 11 months ago.
Scotland Yard was alerted to an allegation made last August, but the case report was initially passed on to an overseas force linked to the whistleblower. Detectives finally launched an investigation in March, established “jurisdiction” for that indictment, and then received a second indictment in February as well.
The confirmation that the suspect has been facing an investigation for months came after a report in The Guardian claimed that the player’s club had been aware of an allegation since last autumn.
Telegraph Sport revealed on Monday how the player had been arrested in the early morning for an alleged rape which was said to have taken place last month. The international, who is in his early 20s and cannot be identified for legal reasons, was later questioned about two other allegations of rape by another woman last year. He was released on bail Tuesday until next month after spending around 30 hours in custody being questioned about the three alleged attacks.
In an updated statement, the Met Police confirmed in a statement to Telegraph Sport that “an allegation of rape was reported to the Metropolitan Police Service in August 2021”. “This alleged crime occurred outside of the UK and MPS transferred the report to the whistleblower’s local force to proceed as appropriate and support the whistleblower as is standard practice,” the statement said.
“In February 2022, the complainant submitted a new report to the MPS regarding an alleged crime of rape committed in London. The MPS carried out investigations to establish whether it had legal jurisdiction to investigate the allegations both abroad and in London. Once After jurisdiction was confirmed, the MPS began investigating both matters in March 2022. Detailed investigations continue along with specialized support for the whistleblower.”
It is unclear if the standout player will have any involvement in pre-season preparations after being bailed out over three claims said to have taken place in the last year.
However, campaign group Object, which challenges what it describes as “sex object culture”, says the player should be banned from playing the game while an investigation is underway.
“Of course the club should suspend him pending investigations and make a public announcement about it,” Object said in a statement. “Regardless of any verdict, we know that such cases are often dropped and the likelihood of a conviction is slim and won’t happen for years, if at all.”
The club has been contacted by Telegraph Sport and is aware that the player is being questioned. The player is of international renown and it is unclear if he will now play in his club’s pre-season match schedule. The Premier League season starts on August 5 and the player is also due to play in the World Cup in Qatar this November.