Football: Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy charged with four counts of rape

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with rape and sexual assault, police have said.
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with rape and sexual assault, police have said.PHOTO: AFP

MANCHESTER (AFP) - Manchester City suspended Benjamin Mendy on Thursday (Aug 26) after police confirmed the Frenchman has been charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

"Benjamin Mendy, aged 27, has been charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault," Cheshire Police said in a statement.

"The charges relate to three complainants over the age of 16 and are alleged to have taken place between October 2020 and August 2021."

Police urged the public not to report, comment or share information online which could in any way prejudice a fair trial.

City said Mendy has been suspended pending an investigation.

"The matter is subject to a legal process and the Club is therefore unable to make further comment until that process is complete," its statement added.

Mendy, who was part of France's 2018 World Cup-winning squad, has been remanded in custody ahead of an appearance at Chester Magistrates' Court on Friday.

The left-back joined City in 2017 from Monaco for a reported £52 million (S$96.5 million).

Mendy has played 75 times for City over the past four years, winning three Premier League titles, but has seen his playing time limited by injuries and a loss of form.

He has just under two years left to run on a six-year contract.

The last of his 10 caps for France came in November 2019.