So about soccer’s version of Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding… it’s much messier in a less fun way

Kheira Hamraoui (l.) And Aminata Diallo.
Image: Getty Images

About a month ago, it looked like Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Aminata Diallo would be leading a criminal scheme so stupid that, if it weren’t already a crime, it would be criminal.

I, along with a bunch of other news outlets, have collected the story of Diallo’s teammate, Kheira Hamraoui, who was attacked by mysterious assailants who targeted her legs. The nature of the assault – targeting a football player’s legs – Diallo’s proximity to it – drove the car back and forth between teammates to and from a team dinner – and its advantage – they play in the same position for their club and national teams – made it look so much like Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan -Part 2 that my piece was less about attacking and more about Diallo having the idea from the ice skating scandal or if she came up with the poorly executed plan on her own.

It seems to be a lot more complicated than that, and Diallo’s involvement seems to have been made up even though idiots like me connected the dots that created a funny story and sidetracked a player’s career permanently (hopefully not, but probably).

In a long following on the New York Times incident, jealousy may still have been the reason for the attack, but instead of playing too much, it may have had something to do with Hamraoui’s alleged relationship with now retired French soccer player Eric Abidal .

In interviews with police investigating the incident, Diallo said the two men who attacked her teammate accused Hamraoui of sleeping with another woman’s husband during the attack. Hayet Abidal, Eric’s wife, has since filed for divorce from the footballer and his lawyer has claimed that Eric has admitted to having an affair with Hamraoui. During the investigation, the police also learned that the chip in Hamraoui’s cell phone was registered in Eric Abidal’s name. He said he was related to an ex-boyfriend.

In a move you should never make, Eric Abidal took to Instagram to publicly broadcast the family drama and beg her forgiveness. Eric and Hayet have yet to be questioned about the attack, but it seems likely they will. It’s all very messy and you can read all about it in the New York Times if you have a subscription or switch devices and click the link in different platforms enough times.

The only thing that is starting to seem clear is that Diallo should never have been drawn into this, but Hamraoui has named her a suspect in an act of self-preservation? Narcissism? Racism? I have no idea, and I’m not touching it because the lawyer has already spent too much time on my latest story. Whatever the reason, that accusation conjured up images and narratives of an idiot of the century, and it shouldn’t have. My apologies, Aminata.

That said, Diallo, who spent nights in jail for this shit, hasn’t been cleared of any charges and the police still have a laptop and two of her cell phones. Neither has played since Diallo’s appearance days after the attack and before she was charged.

Hamraoui has added club executives and other teammates to the list of possible suspects (PSG has not commented on the story), and teammates are literally distancing themselves from his locker, but both players have returned to training with the club.

Yes, that training room is on the run for the most awkward place on Earth right now.

The story is far less joyful dissolved than Harding-Kerrigan’s madness. When we add that the football careers of two players are ruined forever, a woman has been beaten with an iron, the attackers are still on the run, a marriage is over, I look like an idiot, the investigation won’t be over soon, etc. ., it’s just depressing.


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