Five PSG Women players were given security 'after phone threats'
Five PSG Women players were given security ‘after receiving phone threats’ days before star was beaten with iron bars: Childhood friend of accused team-mate ‘is arrested for making the calls’
- PSG Women players received threatening phone calls a week before their teammate was beaten, it is claimed, with five of them given security guards
- Caller claimed Kheira Hamraoui had an affair with him while playing for Bareclona, accusing her of ‘ruining’ his life and vowing to take revenge
- A week later, Hamraoui was dragged from a car and badly beaten with iron bars
- Police have since arrested teammate Aminata Diallo and are believed to be working on the theory that she orchestrated the beating
- Cops also arrested 34-year-old friend of Diallo on suspicion of making the calls
Five Paris Saint-Germain Women players were given security guards after receiving threatening phone-calls in the days before one of them was brutally beaten, French media has claimed.
Beating victim Kheira Hamraoui, 31, was allegedly among players given guards, as was Aminata Diallo, 26, who is now under arrest accused of orchestrating the attack.
The calls reportedly began in late October, days before Hamraoui was dragged from a car on the night of November 4 by two men who beat her legs with iron bars.
It is not clear from reports exactly when the women were given the guards – whether after the calls were made or after the attack took place.
Police have since arrested a 34-year-old man – a childhood friend of Diallo’s who is already in jail for racketeering – on suspicion of making the calls from behind bars.
Police are believed to be working on the theory that Diallo hired goons to put her talented rival out of action so she could take her place in PSG’s team.
Kheira Hamraoui, 31, (left), was left needing stitches after a brutal assault on the night of November 4 – with teammate Aminata Diallo, 26, (right) now arrested in connection with it
Police have yet to charge Diallo (left) but are thought to be working on the theory that she hired goons to attack Hamraoui (right) to take her place in the squad
According to the L’Equipe newspaper, the caller claimed to be a married man from Barcelona who had a years-long affair with Hamraoui while she was playing in the city while accusing her of ruining his life and vowing revenge.
While it appears the calls were designed as a cover-story for the eventual beating, L’Equipe says they actually turned police suspicion on Hamraoui’s teammates after the caller gave away personal details that only someone close to her could have known.
The caller allegedly spoke about a party at the house of another player during which Hamraoui suffered ‘a fall’ – information that was only known to those present.
Diallo has yet to be charged and remains in custody where she has reportedly denied the allegations during police interviews.
Her stay in custody has been extended until Friday, when she could make her first court appearance.
The 34-year-old man, reportedly born in Grenoble where Diallo grew up and who played as a junior for Olympique Lyonnais, has also yet to be charged but is thought to have denied the allegations against him.
Hamraoui remains under guard, news site RMC Sport reports, with security posted both inside and outside of her home.
Diallo is being guarded by police in jail, while it is unclear whether the three other players who received calls still have security details.
Police have yet to identify the masked men who carried out the beating.
News of the phone-calls came as new details about the night Hamraoui was attacked emerged in local press.
Hours before the attack took place, all PSG players and staff had attended a ‘bonding’ inner at posh restaurant Le Chalet des Iles, located on an island in the Bois de Boulogne – a royal hunting ground-turned-park to the west of Paris.
After the meal Diallo had offered to drive Hamraoui and another player – Sakina Karchaoui – home to the nearby department of Yvelines, where all three live.
Diallo had just dropped Karchaoui off at her home around 10.30pm when the masked attackers approached the car and dragged Hamraoui out.
One of them allegedly shouted abuse at Hamraoui and beat her legs with an iron bar, while the other ‘detained’ Diallo but did not harm her.
The attack lasted ‘a few minutes’ before both of the men fled.
Hamraoui immediately contacted the head of security at PSG and the team’s assistant coach before going to hospital, where she received stitches.
She then missed team training sessions and an important Champions League match against Real Madrid on Tuesday night – with Diallo starting in her place.
At 6am the morning after the match, Diallo was arrested at her home in Marly-le-Roi and taken into police custody.
PSG has confirmed her arrest and said it is related to the assault of another of their players, but has refused to comment further.
Before the attack, Hamraoui and Diallo were said to be good friends – holidaying together on numerous occasions, including in 2019 to console each-other on being missed out of the French national squad during a home World Cup.
They had moved in similar circles for years among elite French female footballers, but had never played at the same club together until this season.
Hamraoui had joined PSG in 2012 and played with the club until 2016, but left that year to play for Lyon and then Barcelona.
Meanwhile Diallo joined PSG in 2016 and has been at the club ever since, though spent the last two seasons out on loan.
Diallo (far left) started in place of the injured Hamraoui (second right) in midfield against Real Madrid on Tuesday night, a game the team won 4-0. She was arrested the next morning
Diallo was driving Hamraoui home from a team meal when her car was stopped by two masked men who beat her teammate but left her unscathed
Recalled to the first squad this summer, Diallo later learned she would be playing alongside Hamraoui who was making a triumphant return from Barcelona having just claimed the treble of Champions League, domestic league, and league cup.
It was not the first time Hamraoui had claimed a treble, either, having accomplished the same feat with Lyon in two consecutive seasons.
Diallo’s career is not so glittering. Despite joining PSG five years ago, she has yet to lift a piece of silverware – spending the 2020 season with Utah Royals in the US and 2021 season with Atletico Madrid.
Diallo has started three of PSG’s seven league games this season and has come on as a sub in the other four, while Hamraoui has started six of the seven league games, with Diallo starting the other match against Soyaux-Charente on September 12.
They both started together for the game on October 10 versus Guingamp and October 31 for the game against Dijon but in the Women’s Champions League, Hamraoui started the first two matches with Diallo on the bench but the 31-year-old missed the third game yesterday due to the injuries sustained.
The club has confirmed Diallo has been taken into custody.
In a club statement, PSG said: ‘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.’
The news comes just days before PSG’s huge top of the table clash with Lyon on Sunday.
Both teams are level on 21 points after seven games. PSG ended Lyon’s 14-year reign at the top of Division 1 by winning the title last season and also knocked them out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage. Lyon had won the European competition five years in a row.
Hamraoui joined PSG in the summer after leaving Champions League winners Barcelona.
She was re-called to the France squad after a two-year absence for their 2023 World Cup qualifying matches last month but had to withdraw due to a calf injury, with Diallo called up in her place.
However, Diallo did not feature in either of France’s games against Estonia or Kazakhstan.
Tonya Harding v Nancy Kerrigan: When sports rivalry turns dark
American ice-skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were competing for a spot at the 1994 Winter Olympics and were long-standing figure skating rivalries. But things turned nasty…
– Jan 6, 1994: The night before the US National Figure Skating Championships, Kerrigan is attacked by hired hitman Shane Stant, who used a 21-inch collapsible baton to strike Kerrigan’s right leg.
Smith, with his uncle Derrick Smith, was contracted by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of Harding and Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt. Cameras caught the aftermath and Kerrigan’s face as she screamed: ‘Why? Why? Why? Why me?’
– Jan 8, 1994: Harding wins gold at the 1994 Championships, guaranteeing her a spot at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway a month later.
Yet in support of Kerrigan, her fellow skaters offered her a spot to compete in the Olympics as well…
– Jan 12, 1994: Harding’s bodyguard, Eckhardt, confesses to the attack after an FBI investigation, and incriminates Stant, Gillooly and Smith, who was the driver of the getaway car.
– Jan 14, 1994: The United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) deliberates on whether Harding should compete in Lillehammer and decides she is allowed to since no evidence has emerged to contradict her claims.
– Jan 27, 1994: Gilolly, the mastermind behind the attack, confesses and implicates Harding, Eckhardt, Stant and Smith.
Harding denies involvement, issuing the following statement: ‘Despite my mistakes and rough edges, I have done nothing to violate the standards of excellence in sportsmanship that are expected in an Olympic athlete.’
The U.S. Olympic Committee eventually decides that she can participate.
– Feb 25, 1994: Harding finishes eighth in the Olympics, while Kerrigan wins the silver medal.
– March 16, 1994: Harding pleads guilty to the charge of ‘conspiracy to hinder prosecution.’ She receives three years probation and a $160,000 fine. Later, her 1994 national championships title is revoked and she receives a lifetime ban from the USFSA
Everyone involved in Kerrigan’s attack serves jail time, aside from Harding.
Tonya Harding eventually pleaded guilty to knowing about the attack on her rival
Nancy Kerrigan was attacked ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympics by a hired hitman
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