Five professional footballers have been arrested in Brighton and one in Dorset on suspicion of being involved in a sexual assault on a woman in July 2011.

Sussex police said that five players associated with Brighton and Hove Albion and one connected with AFC Bournemouth were arrested.

They said an 18-year-old man, a 19-year-old, two men aged 20 and one aged 24, from Brighton, and a 20-year-old from Dorset were held.

The BBC suggested that former Brighton and Hove Albion player Steve Cook, who moved to Bournemouth at the end of last season, was also arrested.

Sussex police have not revealed the identities of the suspects.

In a statement, Brighton and Hove said: ""Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club can confirm that five men associated with the club are assisting police in the investigation of an alleged offence in July.

"The club will make no further comment at this stage."

A Sussex police spokesman said: "All have been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and taken to different custody centres in Sussex where they will be questioned in relation to an alleged sexual assault on a woman in July last year.

"The suspects were identified on January 13, leading to these arrests."