Detectives were last night investigating an allegation that a group of Premiership footballers sexually assaulted a teenager at a London hotel.

A 17-year-old girl reported the alleged attack to police in central London at the weekend, Scotland Yard said. She claimed up to eight Premiership stars were involved.

She told police she consented to sex with a player from one Premiership club - but seven footballers from another club then forced themselves on her, according to newspaper reports.

Detectives from Operation Sapphire, Scotland Yard's task force to deal with sex crimes, were investigating the allegations.

A Scotland Yard spokes-man said: "We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service have received an allegation of rape from a 17-year-old female. At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further."

No players or clubs have been named by the police in connection with the allegation, and none of the Premiership clubs were prepared to comment.

The Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association also refused to comment.

Police are likely to have sought samples for DNA evidence and to have examined any security television footage from the hotel.

* Three Premiership games were played in London at the weekend - Arsenal v Newcastle on Friday, Chelsea v Aston Villa on Saturday, and Charlton v Liverpool on Sunday.