A former Paris Saint-Germain player appeared before a judge Friday facing possible charges over a brutal assault on her teammate Kheira Hamraoui last November that rocked women’s football in France, prosecutors said.
Aminata Diallo, 27, was arrested for the second time earlier Friday in the investigation into the attack against Hamraoui outside Paris, which investigators initially suggested could have been motivated by a sporting rivalry.
The re-arrest of Diallo came after four men were also detained this week in connection with the attack on Hamraoui, two of whom were later charged with aggravated violence.
A judicial source told AFP the two men had implicated Diallo in the attack under questioning, though Diallo has denied any involvement.
Diallo was driving Hamraoui, a star PSG midfielder, home from a club dinner on November 4, 2021, when they were allegedly forced to stop by two masked men.
Hamraoui was then dragged out and beaten on the legs with an iron bar, resulting in injuries that required stitches in hospital.
“It was an ambush. These people were waiting for me behind a truck. They were at the right place at the right time. How could they have been so well informed?”She told French daily L’Equipe in June.
According to media reports, Hamraoui also told police she suspected Diallo might be involved because of the unusual route she took home, and the slow speed of their vehicle when the two attackers sprang out to stop the car.
Hamraoui’s lawyer declined to comment when contacted by AFP on Friday.
Since the attack, Hamraoui’s defence team has said she has been the target of harassment campaigns fomented by fellow teammates over the suspicions against Diallo, which have impacted team morale and PSG’s performance.
She has been kept apart from fellow teammates since the start of the 2022-23 season, though she insists she intends to see through her PSG contract until June 2023.
Harrowing for women’s football
At the time of the assault, both Hamraoui and Diallo were competing for the same midfield spot in the PSG team.
Diallo was detained by police immediately after the incident but was released pending the inquiry.
The attack shook the wealthy Qatar-owned club and the French women’s league more broadly, just as women’s football is growing in popularity.
Clubs across Europe have ploughed money into women’s clubs in recent years, with PSG attracting 16,000 supporters to their match against Real Madrid just a week after the November 2021 assault.
Hamraoui, a veteran French international, had returned to PSG the previous summer from Barcelona, where she won three titles including the Champions League last year.
Diallo, who has been capped seven times by France, is without a club since the expiration of her PSG contract.