Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Aminata Diallo has gone into custody due to alleged involvement in an attack on one of her teammates.
French daily L’Equipe reported on Wednesday that Kheira Hamraoui was the victim of an assault by two masked men in the middle of the street on Thursday, November 4. The attack left Diallo’s fellow midfielder, who joined PSG from Barcelona in July, needing stitches.
Police are currently investigating whether the 26-year-old hired the masked assaulters to injure Hamraoui badly enough so that she could steal her place in the team. The assault occurred whilst the two women were driving home from a team meal organised for the players.
Two men, armed with iron bars, dragged the Frenchwoman out of her car. They reportedly struck the 31-year-old in the legs multiple times. The attack lasted for several minutes before the two men fled the scene.
A source at the club told AFP that the attackers also detained Diallo, but she escaped unharmed.
Despite playing alongside each other in the league, manager Didier Ollé-Nicolle has favoured Hamaroui over Diallo in the Champions League.
Tonya Harding Similarities
This incident evokes memories of the infamous Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan case, in which the former organised an assault on her figure skating rival. On January 6, 1994, Kerrigan was attacked after practice at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The assault was one of the biggest scandals in sports history.
Jeff Gillooly orchestrated the assault by hiring hitman Shane Stant to attack his ex-wife’s rival. Stant used a 21-inch collapsible baton to strike the knee of the American figure skater. Kerrigan recovered, and the pair both participated in the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. Harding suffered from a broken shoelace during her performance. She could only claim eighth place despite receiving an opportunity to re-skate, whilst Kerrigan struck silver.
After denying any involvement for two months, Harding eventually pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to hinder prosecution.” She received three years probation and a $160,000 fine. A few months later, her 1994 national championships title was revoked, and she was banned from the USFSA forever. She was the only person involved with the assault not to serve jail time.
As shocking as Harding’s crimes were, some would argue that this could be even more controversial if Diallo is found guilty. Harding and Kerrigan were rivals whilst Hamaroui was Diallo’s teammate.
The scandal comes just a few days before PSG‘s top of the table clash with Lyon on Sunday. Both teams are currently equal on 21 points after winning all seven of their opening league games. PSG ended their rivals 14-year domestic reign by winning the league last season.
The French club issued a statement on Wednesday which read:
‘Paris Saint-Germain takes note of the police custody this morning of Aminata Diallo by the Versailles DRPJ as part of the procedure opened following an assault on Thursday last night against club players.
‘Paris Saint-Germain strongly condemns the violence committed.
‘Since Thursday evening, November 4, the club has taken all the necessary measures to guarantee the health, well-being and safety of its players.
‘Paris Saint-Germain is working with the Versailles SRPJ to shed light on the facts. The club is attentive to the progress of the procedure and will study the follow-up to be given to it.’
Featured image credit: Getty