Arsenal star held over rape claim

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The Independent Online

The Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has been arrested in Holland on suspicion of rape.

The Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has been arrested in Holland on suspicion of rape.

The 21-year-old Dutch star was held yesterday in Rotterdam, prosecution spokeswoman Jei Chen de Graaf said.

"The investigation is in full motion right now," she said.

The incident is alleged to have happened at the weekend.

Van Persie joined Arsenal for £2.75 million from Feyenoord last summer and scored 10 goals last season.

The prosecution spokeswoman said van Persie is in police custody.

"He is suspected of rape and our system is different to England," she said. "He is in police custody pending investigation.

"The alleged rape took place last weekend and he was arrested yesterday."

At the weekend van Persie stressed his desire to stay at Arsenal long-term and to learn from fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp.

"I can see myself staying at Arsenal for many years," he said. "My contract has three years to run and, of course, we will have to see about it.

"I can learn a lot from Dennis and it is great he has signed a new contract."

Van Persie began to force his way into Arsenal's first team towards the end of last season and scored twice in his club's FA Cup semi-final win over Blackburn.

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