PSG's Diallo released from custody in assault probe against teammate Hamraoui

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French police sought new leads on Friday to identify the attackers of Paris Saint-Germain women's footballer Kheira Hamraoui after releasing her teammate Aminata Diallo from custody after nearly 35 hours of questioning.

Aminata Diallo, who was arrested on Wednesday at her home near Paris, was driving Kheira Hamraoui home last week when the star midfielder fell into an ambush.

On 4 November, at around 10.30pm, when they had just dropped their third partner Sakina Karchaoui off in front of her house, Diallo and Hamraoui saw two masked men appear in front of the car.

They ordered the two players to open their door. Hamraoui was then pulled from the car and beaten on the legs with an iron bar by the two men who ran away when motorists arrived.

Sporting rivalry?

Although seen as friends who socialised and even holidayed together, police had focused on a possible sporting rivalry that had led to violence, which Diallo denied while in detention.

A man already in jail for a separate assault case in the southeastern city of Lyon -- a friend of Diallo's -- had also been arrested as part of the investigation, but he was also released on Thursday evening.

"The club remains by the side of its players to enable them to come through this challenging time and help them find peace of mind," PSG said in a statement late on Thursday.

French media reported that Hamraoui had raised the alarm about Diallo when she filed a police complaint about the attack, highlighting the unusual route taken by her teammate and the slow speed of their vehicle when the attackers sprang out.

Diallo, 26, who was described as cooperative while in custody, explained that she was driving slowly because the street was narrow, L'Equipe newspaper reported.

Both players were absent from team training on Friday and a scheduled media event by the team has been cancelled.

Diallo and Hamraoui were interviewed together on Thursday at a police station in Versailles, just outside Paris, which enabled investigators to compare their versions of events, while the third player, Sakina Karchaoui, was also called to make a statement.

Harding-Kerrigan case

Given the manner of the attack on Hamraoui and the arrest of Diallo, commentators recalled a notorious assault on American ice skater Nancy Kerrigan in the run-up to the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics.

Her rival Tonya Harding was banned for life after her ex-husband and bodyguard hired a hitman to club Kerrigan in the leg.

Hamraoui, a 31-year-old French international returned to PSG last summer from Barcelona, where she won the Champions League last year.

She was recalled to the French national team in October after an absence of more than two years, but pulled out because of injury.

Diallo, who has been capped seven times by France, was called up to replace her in the squad, but was not used by coach Corinne Diacre.

Hamraoui, who needed stitches after the attack last week, was absent from the PSG team which beat Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Diallo taking her place in central midfield.

PSG play arch-rivals Lyon on Sunday in a table-topping clash in the French women's league.

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