Hamraoui left out of France squad following assault ‘trauma’

Paris (AFP) – Two weeks after being assaulted in a mystery attack in Paris, Kheira Hamraoui was on Thursday left out of France’s squad for the upcoming 2023 women’s World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Wales.

France coach Corinne Diacre said that the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who had her legs beaten after being dragged out of a car, had suffered “physical and psychological trauma”.

The assault on Hamraoui, 31, took place while she was being driven home from a dinner in Paris by teammate Aminata Diallo, 26, on November 4.

The car was stopped by masked men who dragged the players from the vehicle and beat Hamraoui’s legs with a metal bar while restraining fellow midfielder Diallo.

Hamraoui required stitches and missed her next game with PSG. 

“Like you, I have been reading in the press, what Kheira has gone through,” said Diacre. 

“It is a trauma that is not only physical but psychological. 

“There is an investigation in progress. We will let justice be done. I hope we will get to the bottom of the story quickly so that the two players concerned, and the entire Paris Saint-Germain club which is very affected, can quickly move on.

“Everyone is looking for explanations. I have no comments to make because I do not know the whole story, only what I can read in the press and that is not always very fair.”

On Tuesday, Hamraoui appealed to the media to respect her privacy amid speculation about her relations with Eric Abidal after with former French international’s name was dragged into the investigation.

Hamraoui was using a telephone SIM card registered in Abidal’s name on the night of the attack.

A source close to the inquiry said Hamraoui had told the police that the SIM card was “in her ex’s name.”

Abidal is a household name in France. He made a stunning return to his playing career in 2013, a year after undergoing a liver transplant.

He served as Barcelona’s sporting director from 2018 to 2020, during which time Hamraoui was with the women’s team.

The Versailles prosecutors’ office, which is leading the investigation, said investigators could soon question Abidal and could also question his wife Hayet, while saying it was “just one lead among many”.

Diallo was held for questioning for nearly 35 hours before being released without charge.

France, who currently top Group I with four wins from four, will face Kazakhstan in Vannes on November 26 and Wales in Guingamp four days later.

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