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Footballer Benjamin Mendy goes on trial in the UK on rape charges

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By AFP  with Euronews
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Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court for the start of his trial.
Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court for the start of his trial.   -   Copyright  LINDSEY PARNABY / AFP

French footballer Benjamin Mendy has gone on trial in the UK on suspicion of ten charges of sexual violence.

The 28-year-old faces eight counts of rape, one of attempted rape and one of sexual assault.

The allegations were made by seven women and all relate to events that allegedly took place between October 2018 and August 2021 at Mendy's home in northwest England. He has denied all charges.

The former World Cup winner was suspended by his club Manchester City for one year after he was first charged.

Another man, Louis Saha Matturie -- no link to the footballer with a similar name -- is also on trial for eight rapes and four sexual assaults on eight women between July 2012 and August 2021. He has also pleaded not guilty.

The trial at Chester Crown Court is expected to last more than three months.

Mendy played 75 times for the English side since joining from AS Monaco in 2017, and also appeared 10 times for his country, including at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.