Johnson suspended over underage sex allegation
ENGLISH Premier League club Sunderland suspended England winger Adam Johnson on Monday, after he was arrested on suspicion of having sex with an underage girl.
He was held in custody after his arrest and the police said he was helping with their inquiries. The 27-year-old was suspended by the club pending the outcome of the investigation.
"A 27-year-old man was arrested earlier today on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16," a Durham police statement said.
According to several newspapers, Johnson had sex with a 15-year-old and was arrested at his mansion on Monday morning.
Three unmarked cars, a police van, plainclothes officers and crime scene investigators were reported to have been at the player's home.
Johnson had been due to travel with the rest of the Sunderland squad to Hull for yesterday's trip to fellow relegation stragglers Hull City.
But the club's statement read: "Sunderland AFC has confirmed that Adam Johnson has been suspended from the club, pending the outcome of a police investigation.
"No further comment will be made at the present time."
Later on Monday, reporters were told that the player had been bailed out and was no longer at Peterlee police station.
Johnson, who has won 12 caps for England, started his career at Middlesbrough before joining Manchester City.
He moved to Sunderland for £10 million (S$21 million) in 2012.
Johnson has struggled to reproduce his best form on a sustained basis with the Black Cats.
However, he has endeared himself to Sunderland fans with goals in each of the club's three victories at hated local rivals Newcastle in as many seasons, including a late winner at St James' Park on Dec 21.
Meanwhile, Sunderland defender Wes Brown's red card against his former club Manchester United on Saturday has been overturned, the Football Association said on Monday.
Brown was dismissed by referee Roger East after trying to tackle striker Radamel Falcao in the area, although television replays suggested that teammate John O'Shea had committed the foul which led to United's penalty.
Sunderland, who lost the Premier League game 2-0, appealed on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.
"An Independent Regulatory Commission has today upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to Wes Brown," the FA said in a statement.
"Therefore, his one-match suspension has been withdrawn with immediate effect."