Dinamo Zagreb’s Nigerian midfielder Iyayi Atiemwen has been arrested for raping and choking a woman who reportedly begged him to stop.
His ex-girlfriend has also accused him of domestic abuse, saying he beat her after he came home from a Europa League clash.
Atiemwen, 23, was arrested after a 24-year-old woman accused him of rape and he was questioned in the Croatian capital, Zagreb.
Pictures Credit: Golders & Golders/@iva977 & Golders/@atiemwen1
Local media report the victim, who has not been named, claims the footballer tried to choke her before raping her as she begged him to stop.
She told reporters: “First he held my hands, he tried to undress me. I was resisting. Then he tried to choke me, and with the other hand he started to undress me. I begged him to stop, but he did not do it. He started to slap me, I screamed.
“No woman should be put through this like I was. I felt miserable and humiliated. I couldn’t believe that anything like that could happen.”
Atiemwen’s reported ex-girlfriend Iva Bosnjak, 20, accused him of coming home to his apartment in Zagreb after a match against Portuguese side Benfica and beating her.
She filed a criminal complaint and told local media: “He came home with a friend after the match. Before that, we had an argument because of his jealousy.”
Bosnjak added that after about an hour his friend left and that she was lying in a bedroom when he came in.
She added: “I wanted to talk and he was silent. He told me not to touch him. I called him once again and he started to throw my things.”
She said that she told him she was afraid and to stop when he started to choke her on the bed.
She said: “I managed to move and slapped him twice. I felt my life was in danger. I tried to run away from the room and he hit me, so I fell and hit my head on the door and the floor.
“I felt I wasn’t well, I can’t remember very well, but I know he yelled. Then he grabbed me by my legs and dragged me on the floor.”
The 20-year-old says she then escaped to the bathroom but when she came out Atiemwen started kicking her.
She said: “I stood up and told him I would call the police. He saw that I was serious, but he sat on the bed and did not even apologise. He just said: ‘You don’t know who I am, I’m a Dinamo player.”
Local media report the Nigerian was released after his arrest and he has denied the accusations.
He was quoted in local media as saying: “I am so sorry that this has happened. I strongly deny everything said in the lady’s post. I know it’s hard to understand when someone does not want to have anything to do with you, but that is not a reason for false accusations.
“I have three sisters and a mother, and I know how to behave with women. They would never forgive me for raising my hand to a woman.”
Dinamo Zagreb confirmed the player had been released after his arrest and said: “GNK Dinamo once again highlights its zero-tolerance policy to any kind of violence.”
It is unclear if Atiemwen has been charged.
The Nigerian started his professional career in Turkey, playing for four sides in the country before moving to Croatia with Gorica in 2018. His appearances there earned him a move to Dinamo Zagreb in January 2019.