The act of violence against soccer player Kheira Hamraoui shocked the sports world. The person who pulled the cords in the attack is not supposed to be a teammate, as suspected. Instead, the lead leads to a former Barça captain.
The affair about the Iron bars attack on French national soccer player Kheira Hamraoui has taken a spectacular turn. According to the Versailles public prosecutor’s office, a new lead leads to former vice world champion Eric Abidal. The now 42-year-old ex-star of FC Barcelona “could soon be questioned”, the investigators told the French news agency AFP.
Clearly, Abidal is in closer contact with the victim. The club colleague of the German national player Sara Däbritz at the French champions Paris St. Germain used a chip card registered on the former captain of FC Barcelona in her mobile phone at the time of the crime. Because the nature of the connection between Abidal and Hamraoui has not yet been clarified, the public prosecutor’s office did not want to rule out a relationship act at the beginning of the week and therefore a questioning of Abidal’s wife Hayet: “That is one of several leads.”
Abidal’s possible involvement in the brutal act caused new shock waves in French football. First of all, the temporary arrest of Hamraoui’s teammate Aminata Diallo on suspicion of involvement in the crime caused horror, especially in the PSG environment, last week. However, the 26-year-old was released after 36 hours in police custody.
The serious incident only became known through Diallo’s arrest. According to previous knowledge, Diallo and Hamraoui were on their way home together after a dinner at their club on November 4, when unknown perpetrators continued to stop the vehicle, pulled Hamraoui out of the interior and the 31-year-old by hitting her thighs and shins with an iron bar injured.
Diallo was completely spared from the attacks, but came under suspicion through her contact with a prisoner from Lyon: The police were able to trace threatening calls against Hamraoui back to the man’s environment and looked for a possible motive in a sporting rivalry.
For further investigations against Diallo, who was considered a close friend of Hamraoui’s up until the allegations, the available evidence has apparently not been sufficient so far. On Monday, an examining magistrate only opened a preliminary investigation against unknown persons because of the “criminal organization preparing and carrying out a serious act of violence punishable by at least five years in prison”. Aggravating circumstances are the intent and the weapon used.