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The story of Kheira Hamraoui being beaten with an iron bar is far from over, two years later

After moving back to Paris Saint-Germain from Spain in the summer of 2021, midfielders Kheira Hamraoui and Aminata Diallo had lots in common. Both France internationals, they followed the same Muslim faith, stayed in the same hotel in their first few weeks at the Paris club and shared a summer holiday to Tanzania. They were also in the same place at the same time when a brutal attack occurred in Chatou, west of Paris, on November 4, 2021.

On that day, two years ago, the footballers’ lives took very different paths.

On the journey back home from a team dinner, Hamraoui and Diallo were stopped by two masked men. One hit Hamraoui with an iron bar, targeting her legs, and the other held Diallo to the steering wheel. Lawyer Said Harir holds up images of client Hamraoui‘s injuries in November 2021.

Reports soon emerged that Diallo was linked to the attack so she could take Hamraoui‘s place in the PSG team.

In September 2022, 10 months on, Diallo and five men were arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy. According to a police report, Diallo instigated the attack on Hamraoui, her motive being “violent jealousy”.

One man admitted to beating up Hamraoui and another is suspected of pinning Diallo to the steering wheel. The men claim to have acted on the orders of an unknown person whom they have not identified. They said Diallo instigated the attack.

Diallo has always maintained she is innocent.

The story has received global media coverage, with claims and counterclaims on both sides. Le Monde reported the theory of a revenge attack based on the relationship between Hamraoui and Eric Abidal, the former France men’s international and Barcelona men’s director of football, which was initially investigated as a lead by police. The public prosecutor confirmed Abidal has never been implicated in the investigation but was heard as a witness.

Police and psychiatric reports have been leaked, with French media reporting Diallo was found by one psychiatrist to have “undeniable personality disorders”. The player’s lawyer says that is “bull****”.

Details have emerged, again through French media, of malicious anonymous phone calls made to PSG players. Diallo‘s home and car in Paris were also tapped and she was recorded saying, “They missed her… break her face.” Her lawyer does not dispute she said those words but argues the phrases are taken in isolation without context.

There has been what has been described as “collateral” damage too, with changes in the management at PSG and France’s national team thought to be further fallout from the incident. And, as well as criminal charges, Hamraoui and PSG are pursuing civil actions related to the case. Diallo playing for PSG in May 2022 (Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images)

The aftershock has been felt far and wide.

A man referred to in initial reports as β€œCesar M” β€” Cesar Mavacala, Diallo‘s former advisor β€” is under police investigation for charges including threatening PSG with violence and “obtaining the departure of players (Hamraoui) and sports managers (Didier Olle-Nicolle) from PSG by coercion”. There have been claims of organised gang fraud said to be linked to Mavacala’s case, and an allegation of sexual assault against former PSG coach Olle-Nicolle that is strenuously denied.

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