In French Soccer Attack, 'What Is Suspected Is Implausible'

Aminata Diallo suspected of arranging beating of PSG teammate Kheira Hamraoui
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2021 2:08 PM CST
In French Soccer Attack, 'What Is Suspected Is Implausible'
PSG's Aminata Diallo warms up prior to a Women's Champions League soccer match between Paris-Saint-Germain and Sankt Polten at Jean Bouin stadium in Paris, France, on Sept. 27, 2018.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

A member of one of the world's most prominent women's soccer teams was arrested Wednesday—six days after masked men attacked a woman the New York Times describes as "her rival for playing time." Police in France say that after Paris St. Germain midfielder Aminata Diallo offered Kheira Hamraoui a ride home from a dinner with club officials last Thursday, attackers pulled Hamraoui from the car near her home in a Paris suburb and beat her with metal bars. In a move with echoes of the Nancy Kerrigan case, the attackers reportedly focused on beating Hamraoui's legs. Diallo was restrained by the attackers but wasn't injured, authorities say.

Hamraoui, who needed stitches to her legs and hands, missed a Tuesday game against Real Madrid in which Diallo played, the Guardian reports. The top-level team, which won the Division 1 Féminine for the first time earlier this year, confirmed Wednesday that Diallo "was taken into custody this morning by the Versailles Regional Police Service as part of the proceedings opened following an attack on the club’s players." The club said it is working with police "to shed light on the facts" and has "taken all the necessary measures to guarantee the health, well-being, and safety of players," per the BBC.

Diallo joined PSG in 2016—the same year Hamraoui left for Lyon after four years with the club. She returned to PSG on a two-year contract in July. The two women are also teammates on France's national soccer team. Noël Le Graët, the president of the French soccer federation, says he is shocked by developments. "What is suspected is implausible," he says, per the Times. "I know both players. I am appalled if what is mentioned is true. It seems unimaginable." (More Paris Saint-Germain stories.)

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