Last week, two stars of French women’s soccer—Aminata Diallo and Kheira Hamraoui—were in the same car traveling home from a team dinner when a group of men in ski masks dragged them both out of the vehicle and clobbered Hamraoui’s legs and hands with metal bars.
With her teammate recovering from her injuries, Diallo took Hamraoui’s place in the Paris St.-Germain starting lineup Tuesday night as they played against Real Madrid in a prestige Champions League match.
Today, Diallo was arrested by Paris police as part of their investigation into the brutal attack on her teammate.
The shocking development was announced in a statement from PSG, with France’s top team writing on Wednesday: “Paris Saint-Germain can confirm that Aminata 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 last Thursday evening.”
It added: “Paris Saint-Germain condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence committed... 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 action to take.”
France’s most respected sports newspaper, L’Equipe, reported that Diallo is suspected of playing a part in hiring two masked men to drag Hamraoui out of her car and attack her in an attempt to take her out of action. The two French national team players both play in midfield for PSG, and Diallo has effectively acted as Hamraoui’s understudy this season.
On the night of the attack, Hamraoui had reportedly accepted a ride home from Diallo after the team dinner. Diallo was said to be at the wheel when both women were pulled outside by the masked men, but Diallo was only restrained by them while Hamraoui was hammered with iron bars. The 31-year-old is still recovering from injuries to her legs and hands.
Diallo played in PSG’s 4-0 Champions League drubbing of Real Madrid on Tuesday, but Hamraoui missed the match due to her injuries. The two masked male attackers have yet to be tracked down by police.
The news of the arrest immediately drew comparisons with the 1994 attack on American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, who was struck on the knee in the women’s locker room of the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in an assault planned by the ex-husband of rival Tonya Harding.
Harding has always denied being involved in the attack but pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution of her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. The attack was the inspiration for the fictionalized 2017 biopic, I Tonya.