February 23, 2018 / 5:26 PM / 10 months ago

Villarreal suspend, stop paying Semedo after criminal charges

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Villarreal vs FC Barcelona - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - December 10, 2017 Villarreal's Ruben Semedo in action with Barcelona’s Luis Suarez . REUTERS/Heino Kalis

BARCELONA (Reuters) - La Liga side Villarreal said on Friday they have suspended defender Ruben Semedo and taken him off their payroll, a day after the Portuguese player was charged with offences including attempted murder and held in custody without bail.

“While always respecting the notion that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the club has decided to suspend the player from duties without pay until the ongoing case has been settled,” Villarreal said in a statement on its website (www.villarrealcf.es).

“Villarreal would like to show its horror at the grave crimes the player Ruben Semedo was charged with,” it said.

The 23-year-old defender was arrested on Tuesday for alleged involvement with others in holding a man who they threatened with a gun, according to media reports.

Semedo’s agent Catio Balde told Portuguese television network TSF on Wednesday that his client had been tricked.

On Thursday a judge ordered that Semedo be held in custody without bail for charges also including robbery and illegal possession of weapons.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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