Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP), Feb 2 – Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has been released on bail after being questioned over the alleged rape and assault of a young woman, police said on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old was arrested on Sunday after images and videos were posted online, and while he was still in custody on Tuesday he was further arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill.
Greater Manchester Police have not named the footballer, but said in a statement: “A 20-year-old man arrested on Sunday January 30 2022 on suspicion of the rape and assault of a woman has been released on bail pending further investigation.”
A spokeswoman for the force confirmed to AFP: “The man has been released on bail for everything.”
Within hours of the allegations appearing on Sunday, Greenwood, regarded as one of the rising stars of English football, was suspended from playing or training with United until further notice.
The posts have since been deleted from the social media page on which they appeared.
People who allege they are victims of certain sexual offences receive lifelong anonymity under English law.
United issued a new statement following Tuesday’s developments, saying: “Manchester United reiterates its strong condemnation of violence of any kind.
“As previously communicated, Mason Greenwood will not train with, or play for, the club until further notice.”
The club have removed all Greenwood merchandise from their website, with his name absent from a drop-down list of players’ names for replica shirts.
– Sponsors –
A number of sponsors have reacted by distancing themselves from Greenwood.
Sportswear giant Nike said it had suspended its deal with the player and video game company Electronic Arts said he had been removed from offline modes in FIFA 22.
United shirt sponsor TeamViewer said it was closely monitoring developments.
“TeamViewer condemns any form of violent behaviour,” the company said in a statement. “We are in close contact with our partner Manchester United, appreciate their immediate actions and support them in the measures taken.
“We are closely monitoring the developments and trust that the authorities will provide clarity in this matter.”
Chocolate-maker Cadbury, an official partner of United, said it would not feature Greenwood in any marketing or products it created.
“Cadbury does not condone violence in any form,” it said in a statement. “Our partnership is with the Club itself and not the individual players.
“However, while these allegations are being investigated, any marketing or products we create with Manchester United will not feature this player. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Greenwood, who made his United debut in 2019 after coming through the youth ranks, has played 129 times for the club, scoring 35 goals.
He signed a new deal in February 2021, keeping him at Old Trafford until at least 2025.
Greenwood made his England debut against Iceland in September 2020 but he and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden were sent home after a breach of the team’s coronavirus guidelines.
He has yet to win another cap for the Three Lions.