News24

Robinho charges dropped

2009-04-06 19:35

Leeds -Manchester City and Brazil striker Robinho will not face charges following allegations of a serious sexual assault made in January, police announced here on Monday.

Robinho always denied any wrongdoing relating to an alleged incident at the Space nightclub in Leeds, northern England, and a spokesperson for West Yorkshire police said: "Following a report of a serious sexual assault that occurred at a nightclub in Leeds on January 14, 2009, the matter was investigated and a man was arrested and released on police bail.

"A file was submitted to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) who decided that no further action should be taken."

Robinho's advisor, Chris Nathaniel of NVA Management, issued a statement saying: "I am pleased to announce that Robson de Souza (Robinho) has been cleared of all allegations of rape.

"He has maintained his innocence throughout the police interview process and I am delighted that no further action will be taken.

"Robinho is a hard-working family man, who is extremely passionate about football. He now wishes to focus his attention on Manchester City to help create a successful end to the season.

"Robinho will be making an official statement at a later date, in the mean time he wants to pass on his sincere thanks to all his family, friends, fans and Manchester City colleagues who have supported him through this terrible ordeal," Nathaniel added.

Britain's Sun newspaper reported at the time that a teenage university student had alleged she was raped by Robinho in the VIP area of Space.

The report said Robinho, who is married and has a son, had gone there for a night out with his team-mates.

Last month Robinho threatened to sue Pele, widely considered to be the best footballer of all time, over claims made by the Brazil hero that he had taken recreational drugs.

Robinho, 25, joined City for a British record transfer fee of 32 million pounds in September from Real Madrid.

In January, he angered City manager Mark Hughes by leaving the club's warm weather training camp in Tenerife without permission.

The occasional brilliant display at home apart, Robinho so far has failed to live up to his price tag and City are currently in the mid-table position of tenth in the 20-team English Premier League.

City's next match is a UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg tie away to German side Hamburg on Thursday and on Sunday they welcome Premier League rivals Fulham to their Eastlands ground.

AFP