Manchester City player Benjamin Mendy has been charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, police said on Thursday.
“The charges relate to three complainants over the age of 16 and are alleged to have taken place between October 2020 and August 2021,” Cheshire Police said in a statement.
Mendy was to remain in police custody overnight and is due to appear in court on Friday, police said.
The left-back has been suspended by Manchester City, “pending an investigation”.
Manchester City said in a statement: “Manchester City can confirm that following his being charged by police today, Benjamin 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.”
Cheshire Police said in a statement: “Cheshire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service would like to remind everyone that criminal proceedings against Mendy are live and that he has a right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice ongoing proceedings.”
The 27-year-old joined City from Monaco in 2017 and has won the Premier League three times and the English League Cup twice.
He played against Tottenham on the opening weekend of the Premier League season but didn’t feature against Norwich on Saturday.