Football: Former Sunderland player Cabral facing rape charges

LONDON (AFP) - Former Sunderland midfielder Cabral is to go on trial accused of two counts of rape, it was announced on Tuesday.

The midfielder, real name Adilson Tavares Varela, was arrested on Jan 25 last year after the alleged incident in nearby Gateshead.

Cabral will stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court on April 25, having previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The 27-year-old only made one Premier League appearance for north-east club Sunderland in the 2013/14 season.

Sunderland announced on Feb 2, 2015, that Cabral had left the club by mutual consent and the former Swiss Under-21 international is now with FC Zurich.

Former Sunderland winger Adam Johnson, who played for England, faces a substantial prison term after it was confirmed last week that he will be sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in Yorkshire, northern England, on March 24 for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Johnson, 28, admitted grooming and sexual activity with the girl, who is a Sunderland fan, and was convicted of a charge of sexual touching.

The fall-out over the way Sunderland, battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League, dealt with Johnson's case led to the resignation of former chief executive Margaret Byrne on March 8.