French female footballer Aminata Diallo has been charged over an attack on her former teammate Kheira Hamraoui.
Prosecutors indicted Diallo on Friday with “aggravated violence” and “criminal association” and placed her in pre-trial custody.
The 27-year-old was initially arrested as part of the investigation last November, before being released. Diallo has always strongly denied any involvement.
Four men — aged between 18 and 23 — have also been arrested over the attack on Hamraoui, which sent shockwaves across France and over shadowed the 2021-22 season. They were also charged with “criminal association” and “aggravated violence”.
Hamraoui was travelling home from a PSG team dinner with teammate Diallo on 4 November 2021 in Chatou in the Yvelines.
The pair were suddenly attacked by masked men with iron bars. Hamraoui was beaten, sustaining injuries to her legs, and was taken to hospital for stitches.
“I was ambushed. These people were waiting for me behind a truck. They were in the right place at the right time. How could they have been so well informed? There are still so many unanswered questions,” she told the French newspaper L’Equipe in June.
Investigators initially arrested Diallo on suspicion of involvement, suggesting that there had been a rivalry between the two teammates, who both play in midfield.
Diallo was released without charge, before being re-arrested on Friday morning at her home.
According to investigators, Diallo was implicated by the four other suspects during questioning. She again denied any involvement before invoking her right to silence.
Three of the four suspects have acknowledged that they were at the scene when the attack took place, while the other has admitted to hitting the “victim,” prosecutors say.
Authorities are also investigating whether the attack was linked to an affair between Hamraoui and former French footballer Eric Abidal, who was director of football at her former club Barcelona. Abidal’s wife has since filed for divorce.
The attack on Hamrouai led to a breakdown in relations and a “campaign of harassment” at her club PSG, according to her lawyers.
The 32-year-old has also filed a complaint against a social media influencer and an independent journalist for “defamation, public insults, threats and invasion of privacy”.
Hamraoui, who won 39 caps for France, is currently under contract with the French club until June 2023 but has been left out of the professional squad since the start of the season.
Diallo is currently without a club after ending her contract with PSG in the summer.