Why was PSG's Aminata Diallo arrested and will she face charges?
After new teammate Kheira Hamraoui was pulled from the car and attacked by two masked men, Diallo was taken in for questioning by police.
It’s a story that has brought back memories of the assault on ice-skater Nancy Kerrigan in the early 1990s, but on Thursday Paris Saint-Germain women's midfielder Aminata Diallo was released from police custody after questioning over an attack on teammate Kheira Hamraoui. The case is, however, still under investigation.
Attack on PSG star Hamraoui
According to reports, on 4 November, the PSG women’s team were out for dinner and after leaving the venue, and heading towards her home, 31-year-old Hamraoui was pulled out of the car that she and Diallo were in by two masked men. They hit her with an iron bar which left her needing several stitches in her hands and legs. Another player, Sakina Karchaoui, had also been travelling with them but had been dropped off earlier. Diallo was not set upon by the men.
On Wednesday, 10 November, the French club communicated that Diallo had been taken into custody by the Versailles Regional Police Service as part of the proceedings opened following the alleged assault. L'Equipe newspaper reported that Diallo, 26, had been involved in the orchestration of this assault.
"Paris Saint-Germain notes the release of Aminata Diallo from police custody," PSG said in a statement on Thursday. "The club continues to support its players to allow them to overcome this ordeal as soon as possible.
"Paris Saint-Germain reiterates its confidence in the justice system to shed full light on the events. The club would like to thank everyone for showing restraint and respecting the presumption of innocence as well as the privacy of the team."
The club had previously stated that it “condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence committed," and that it had “taken all necessary measures to guarantee the health, well-being and safety of its entire women's team.”
Diallo and Hamraoui: the relationship
One of the obvious reasons why the link to Diallo for the attack is being made is due to what she may have to gain with Hamraoui being unable to play for PSG. They both occupy the same midfield slot in the team and, as it happens, Diallo was brought in to cover for her injured teammate in the recent Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Diallo has been capped seven times by France, and joined the capital giants from fellow French club Guingamp in 2016. Hamraoui made the move to Paris in July after three seasons with Barcelona.
As well as the professional rivalry speculation, however, French paper Le Parisien reported on contact being made between Diallo and a prisoner that has a history of violence. That particular person of interest was also taken into custody to aid police with their investigation but has claimed that the relationship with the player is a long standing one.
The key to this story, as it stands, is that following around 36 hours of questioning, Diallo was released without charge. Innocent until proven guilty.