The story sounds like the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan incident all over again, except this time it takes place on one of the top women’s soccer teams in the world.
Paris Saint-Germain player and French national team player Aminata Diallo was arrested Wednesday morning as part of a police investigation into an attack on her teammate, Kheira Hamraoui, by masked men on 4 November.
the club confirmed in a statement that Diallo was detained, but failed to identify the teammate who was assaulted or characterize Diallo’s possible involvement.
“Paris Saint-Germain can confirm that Aminata Diallo was detained this morning by the Versailles Regional Police Service as part of open proceedings following an attack on the club’s players last Thursday night.
Paris Saint-Germain condemns the violence committed in the strongest terms.
Paris Saint-Germain is working with the Versailles Police to clarify the facts. The Club is paying close attention to the progress of the proceedings and will study what actions to take. “
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Details of the attack, which were first published by French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Hamraoui took a trip home with his teammate Diallo after a team dinner. The car was reportedly stopped by two men, who forced the women out of the car and attacked Hamraoui with a metal bar, targeting his legs.
The leg injuries, which were reportedly bruises and cuts but not breaks, do not endanger his career, but did force Hamraoui out of a UEFA Champions League match against Real Madrid on Tuesday. It was Diallo who took his place in midfield and PSG won 4-0.
It’s a story that strangely follows the script of the one that shook the figure skating world in 1994: Star skater Nancy Kerrigan was assaulted by a man, who pointed a baton at her knee. The plot was orchestrated by Harding’s ex-husband, and injuries forced Kerrigan to drop out of the United States Figure Skating Championships, which Harding won to make the Olympic team. Kerrigan recovered and joined her at the Olympics.
Diallo has not been directly linked to the attack outside of the arrest. Diallo and Hamraoui compete directly for a starting spot with PSG, although they both started in midfield in a Division I Women’s game on October 31.
Diallo, 26, joined PSG in 2016 and returned in the summer from back-to-back loans with the Utah Royals in the NWSL and Atlético de Madrid in Spain. Hamraoui, a 31-year-old former French international, recently joined PSG in the summer from Barcelona.
Following the incident, PSG said it will provide additional security for its players: “Since Thursday night, the club has taken all necessary measures to ensure the health, well-being and safety of its entire women’s team,” the statement read in the statement.
The president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, issued a statement pending the results of the investigation:
“I don’t know more than you for now,” reads the statement published by L’Equipe. But what is suspected is unlikely. I know both players. I would be surprised if what is suggested is true. It would seem unimaginable. I am still very surprised and look forward to the results of the investigation. “