Investigators released the 26-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder less than two weeks after her teammate was brutally beaten by masked men
After French authorities arrested Paris Saint-Germain women’s soccer star Aminata Diallo last week for suspected connection to the brutal Nov. 4 attack on her teammate, they now have identified a new person of interest in connection with the alleged assault.
Investigators released Diallo on Thursday after arresting her a day prior for a suspected link to the attack on her teammate Kheira Hamraoui. Diallo’s arrest came less than a week after she reportedly drove her 31-year-old teammate home from a team dinner at a Paris restaurant.
Former Utah Royals star Aminata Diallo of the Utah Royals is pictured prior to the soccer team’s quarterfinal match against the Houston Dash in the NWSL Challenge Cup at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. (Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
The two women athletes reportedly arrived at Hamraoui’s home around 10:30 p.m. when a pair of masked men dragged Hamraoui out of the vehicle before beating her with a metal bar for several minutes while Diallo was subdued, according to the New York Times.
The attackers allegedly focused their assault Hamraoui’s legs, the Times reported. After Diallo’s release, attorneys for the 26-year-old criticized the press for suggesting their client and Hamraoui were somehow rivals.
Kheira Hamraoui of Barcelona celebrates after scoring the first goal for her team during the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi final first Leg match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona at FC Bayern Campus on April 21, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
“[We also condemn the] media speculation, which has already condemned [Diallo], without justification, and she will not hesitate to launch legal action if necessary against any defamation,” the attorneys said, according to Marca, a Spanish newspaper.
On Monday, French newspaper Le Monde reported investigators have turned their attention to former Barcelona defender Eric Abidal. Authorities have determined a phone chip in Hamraoui’s cell phone was in Abidal’s name, according to Le Monde. A group of PSG players said. Hamraoui called Abidal the day after her attack, the French news site reported.
Both Diallo and Hamraoui told investigators their alleged attackers asked Hamraoui, “So like that, we sleep with married men?” The UK’s Daily Mail reports Abidal and his wife, Hayet, have been married since 2003. Abidal’s attorney told Le Monde he has spoken with his client since the attack, “but I will say absolutely nothing to you for the moment.”
The Paris Saint-Germain soccer team on Friday expressed confidence that the legal system will reveal what really happened to Hamraoui.
“The Club continues to support its players to allow them to overcome this ordeal as soon as possible,” the team said in a prepared statement. “The Club would like to thank everyone for showing restraint and respecting the presumption of innocence as well as the privacy of the team.”
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