A Paris St.-Germain women’s soccer player was detained by police without charge on Thursday, a day after she was arrested during the investigation into a violent attack on one of her teammates. her by masked men holding metal rods.
The player, Aminata Diallo, was granted a 24-hour detention extension by French prosecutors on Wednesday night and additional questioning on Thursday about the incident in which her teammate Kheira Hamraoui. being pulled from a car and beaten on the way home from a group dinner last week.
Diallo was detained by the police for about 36 hours. The Versailles prosecutor’s office confirmed that an acquaintance of Diallo, a Lyon man who had been in prison for unrelated crimes, was questioned and later released. The prosecutor’s office would not comment further or detail the investigation, nor why Diallo or the man was being held.
In France, detention is not uncommon in police investigations. But in most cases, prosecutors must charge suspects or release them within 48 hours. Diallo has not been charged and police have made no public comment regarding her assault. But the investigation will continue, and Diallo could be charged at a later date if evidence links her to a crime.
Diallo was arrested by officers who arrived at her home around 6 a.m. Wednesday and conducted a search of her apartment as well as the team-provided vehicle she was driving when the attack occurred last week. .
Police also came into possession of Diallo’s cell phone, and subsequently questioned a 34-year-old Lyon man who was serving time in prison for unrelated crimes. The man, described as a acquaintance of Diallo, was also released without charge on Thursday, the Versailles prosecutor confirmed.
The news of Diallo’s arrest surprised Paris St.-Germain, an elite team that is the defending champion of France and one of the richest and most powerful clubs in the world football village. Group officials learned of Diallo’s detention Wednesday morning – and hinted that she may have played a role in the Hamraoui attack – from media reports, and only after her detained.
They were further stunned by the accusations because Diallo and Hamraoui were seen as friends; L’Equipe and other newspapers in France reported that the players – both of whom had played for the French national team but were never members of the same club – were even go on vacation together.
In the days since last Thursday night’s attack, Diallo – who was unharmed in the incident – has continued to practice with the team, and she started and played almost the entire match on Thursday. Three when PSG beat Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Hours later, she was arrested.
The attack happened after Diallo and her teammates attended a team bonding dinner. Later, Diallo and two other members of the group, including Hamraoui, went home together in a Toyota issued by Diallo’s group because they lived close to each other in the same suburb of Paris.
After releasing their comrades, Diallo and Hamraoui intercepted their car by two masked men as it neared Hamraoui’s house. There, in the dark, and as the players tried to defend themselves, one of the men pulled Hamraoui from the car and beat her with a metal rod while the other held Diallo narrowly. The attacker is said to have paid particular attention to the blows to Hamraoui’s legs.
Hamraoui, who had multiple cuts and bruises but no broken bones, was treated at the hospital for her injuries. She reported the crime to the police and the club’s security officials that night.
But due to her needing stitches and severe bruising, she was ruled out of the team’s game against Real Madrid on Tuesday. At the time, the club interpreted her absence as a personal matter, and included her friend Diallo in the starting lineup in her place.
On Sunday, PSG will return to the field for France’s introduction of the new season, en route to rivals Lyon. Neither Diallo nor Hamraoui are expected to compete.
Aurelien Breeden contributed reporting from Paris.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/11/sports/soccer/psg-attack-diallo-released.html PSG soccer player Aminata Diallo released without charge