Kheira Hamraoui (right) converses with Aminata Diallo (left) during a Paris Saint-Germain match. (Photo: Twitter @PSG_inside)
“I am a victim.” The clarification of Cheira Hamraoui it seems like a no-brainer. However, the complex plot surrounding the assault she suffered just over 10 months ago and which conditioned her sports career forced her to point it out. In his first public expression after that attack, the midfielder gives Paris Saint Germain She said this traumatic experience haunted her “day and night” and that during these “long months of suffering” she suffered harassment and multiple threats. She only did it a few hours later Amina Diallohis former teammate in the team from the French capital was arrested, accused of orchestrating the attack.
“I will never forget that night of November 4, 2021. That dark night that upset my personal and professional life, my life as a woman and as a footballer. That sad night when I thought I was dying“, Hamraoui wrote in a large letter that he posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts this Saturday along with pictures of the injuries he sustained following the attack.
On November 4, the player was returning home in a car driven by her then partner Aminata Diallo after a party organized by PSG in a restaurant in the Bois de Boulogne area, when the vehicle she was traveling in was intercepted by two men. that they put Hamraoui broke down and beat her on the legs with an iron bar while asking her if she liked sleeping with married men. “That night her goal was simple: to use extreme violence to take away my work tool, breaking my legsand put an end to my career ”, speculated the 32-year-old footballer.
The former Saint-Etienne and Olympique de Lyon player said the attack was just the beginning of an equally traumatic or more traumatic situation for her. “I was the victim of a surprising media conspiracy with the aim of tarnishing my image and my private life. The goal was to distract public opinion from the truth: I am a victim. I am not guilty, except that I remained silent and allowed a media voice to develop about an unprecedented violence that destroyed me and my family, ”she said.
The fact that the player was referring without explicitly mentioning it was one of the main hypotheses that the investigators have supported in recent months, reinforced by the screams of the attackers at the time of the attack: that the beating was a revenge for an alleged relationship that Hamraoui would have maintained with former French national team player Éric Abidal when she played in Barcelona and he was the club’s sporting director. “For several months after the attack, I was unfairly insulted on the pitch, harassed on social media and threatened with death,” she revealed.
Six days after the beating of her partner, Aminata Diallo had been arrested for the first time. Investigators suspected that she too was not the target of the attack. In those hours, speculations revolved around a rivalry between the two for ownership in the PSG midfield (which Hamraoui had joined in July 2021 after joining Barça) and also in the French team. But after 36 hours of arrest, Diallo was released without charges against her. and the investigation was directed towards alleged revenge for the relationship with Abidal.
However, after several months of investigation, the case took a new turn on Friday morning when Diallo, 27, was again arrested at her home in Marly-le-Roi (outside Paris) by agents of the Versailles Criminal Police. According to the Versailles Prosecutor’s Office, four men who were arrested this week for their participation in the event (including one who admitted he was the one who hit Hamraoui with the iron bar) they indicated her as responsible for the plan to attack her partner.
According to a source linked to the investigation, cited by the AFP agency, the player denied the accusations against her and on Friday did not answer the questions of the investigators. Subsequently, she was charged with “criminal association” and “aggravated violence” and transferred to the Versailles Women’s Prison pending a deferred hearing before the judge of freedom and detention. The four arrested were accused of the same crimes; two of them were also transferred to a prison and another was released under judicial supervision.
“Today I trust that Justice will reveal the truth and that my honor will be pure. I am impatient that my name will only be associated with sports and non-legal pages, “Hamraoui said in his public letter this Saturday. And he regretted the personal and sporting consequences suffered in this period, which he called” one of the most difficult ” of his life. “Especially because the adventure of the French team, which is so important to me, is now written without me,” he stressed.
At this point, it seems increasingly clear that the core of the aggression suffered lies in the possibility (or not) that the midfielder represents the national team of his country and also PSG. “During the interrogations, the men suspected of having participated in the attack assured him he had been told that Hamraoui should be prevented from playing”Revealed the source cited by AFP.
Hamraoui and Diallo competed last season for a spot in PSG midfield. Up until the moment of the attack, coach Didier Ollé-Nicolle had almost always favored the former Barcelona player, even if they had played together in some matches. The attack on Hamraoui and the first arrest of his partner not only generated public commotion, but also a pink schism: most of the players supported (in some cases publicly) Diallo and repudiated the person who had allegedly framed her without reason. .
After almost three months of absence, they both played again on 23 January this year: they made their debut in the match that PSG won 5-0 against Saint-Etienne for the 13th date of the French first division tournament. However, the links were already visibly damaged. So much so that at the end of April Hamraoui was excluded from campus after a heated debate with comrades Sandy Baltimore, Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (also members of the selected team), who had joined the group that supported Diallo.
After that meeting, Hamraoui no longer worked with PSG’s professional football team, despite having a contract until June 2023. Diallo’s contract was not renewed, expired in the middle of this year, and he has not since got a new club.
The conflict between the two and the splinters it generated were transferred to the French team, whose base is made up of players from PSG and Olympique de Lyon. There they also competed, at the time of the attack, for a place in the consideration of the coach Corinne Diacre when there were only nine months before the European Championship was played in England.
Diallo was last called up for the national team in October 2021 for two matches corresponding to the Australia-New Zealand 2023 World Cup qualifiers, against Estonia and Kazakhstan (France won 11-0 and 5-0 respectively), in which who was a substitute and did not enter. The last match, against the Kazakhs in Astana, was played nine days before the attack on his teammate. After that, she was never called by Diacre again.
In February of this year, three and a half months after being attacked, Hamraoui was again called up for the national team after almost three years of absence, to play the Tournoi de France, a friendly home run organized by the French Football Association which played in Caen. and Le Havre and so on The Blues they ended up winning. He started against Brazil and entered the second half against Finland and the Netherlands.
However, Hamraoui’s return to a team where he the tensions were on display. In the match against the Netherlands, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, scorer of the second goal, and Kadidiatou Diani, who had assisted her, joined together to celebrate the goal: they did it by forming a letter A with their fingers. “It was a party for Aminata Diallo”, clarified Diani after the meeting.
At that point, no one could claim ignorance. We will not lie to each other, we all know that certain relationships are difficult between some players of their club. Now, the one selected is something else, “Corinne Diacre tried to put the cold clothes on a month later. And praised Hamraoui for her handling of the situation:” Her comeback was very good. She was very discreet and made sure not to cause tension “.
It was difficult to imagine that harmony could be sustained in the chosen one. But Hamraoui’s fight with Baltimore, Diani and Katoto after a PSG training and his detachment from the squad worked as an unexpected solution, since that exclusion and the consequent inactivity of the midfielder ended up being decisive for his absence. in the group that the coach made for the European Championship. “She’s not playing, so it’s hard to put her on the list. I can’t make an emotional list. I’m forced to make a list based on performance and think about the band,” justified Diacre one day before giving his paycheck.