Investigators in France have released Aminata Diallo after the PSG midfielder spent one night in jail. It all happened after an assault by two masked men led to serious injuries for another PSG player, Kheira Hamraoui, who Diallo was driving home following a team dinner.
The police first believed Diallo might be involved in the attack as the assailants’ accomplice. Early information in the French media suggested Diallo might have participated in the attack so she could take Hamraoui’s place in the starting 11 at PSG. Now, a new name has come to light as it becomes more obvious by the day that Diallo is innocent.
Diallo released without charges
The SIM card in Kheira Hamraoui’s phone is registered in Eric Abidal’s name. Abidal, 42, a former defender and club official at FC Barcelona, is now expected to be questioned. The police suspect there’s a link between what they found in Hamraoui’s phone and the attack she suffered on Nov. 4.
Diallo spent 36 hours in custody, but the hypothesis that the assault was motivated by a sporting rivalry is fading away. Now, the scenario investigators are working on focuses on the relationship between Abidal and 31-year-old Hamraoui, who played for FC Barcelona until signing for PSG over the summer.
Police confirmed that Abidal’s name is associated with the SIM card in Hamraoui’s phone. Prosecutor Maryvonne Caillibotte said Abidal will be heard from soon. Authorities are yet to decide whether to question Abidal’s wife, Hayet, or not.
Players at PSG said Hamraoui phoned Abidal after the attack. She was left with foot and hand injuries, and needed medical attention while also being pulled out from action at PSG.
While Hamraoui and Diallo were returning from a dinner in the Bois de Boulogne area, the car they were in was stopped by two masked men. Both women were dragged outside before Hamraoui was hit repeatedly with an iron bar. According to testimony, Hamraoui was asked by the assailants if she “slept with married men”.
Abidal, an important name in French football
Abidal won silver with the French national team at the 2006 World Cup, playing a total of 67 games for Les Bleus. The former defender has two Champions League trophies to his name, both coming in his Barcelona playing days. Abidal quit playing in 2014 before becoming the sporting director at Camp Nou between 2018 and 2020. Hamraoui defended Barcelona’s colors between 2018 and 2021.
Asked by Le Monde to comment on his client’s potential involvement in the Hamraoui case, Abidal’s lawyer refused to say anything.
PSG’s Women’s team won all its games since the start of the season before being trashed 6-1 by Lyon on Sunday. PSG stand second in the French league with 21 points from eight games, three behind Lyon. PSG conceded just six goals and scored 24 this season. The French giants have put four goals past Real Madrid in the Champions League, where they also hope to challenge home-rivals Lyon.