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Kheira Hamraoui French football attack: Eric Abidal, wife Hayet phone call theory

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Paris Saint-Germain football player Kheira Hamraoui has recalled the horrific events that left her bloodied, black and blue during an attack that has shocked the world.

Speaking publicly for the first time about being attacked by masked assailants outside her home, Hamraoui says she was beaten with an iron bar.

The incident had shaken one of the world’s biggest football clubs to its core after her teammate Aminata Diallo was initially detained by police in connection with the attack.

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Aminata was detained on suspicion of playing an alleged role in the attack but was released without charge, having been held for 36 hours.

She denied any involvement in the incident, releasing a statement that denounced a “totally artificial suggestion of a rivalry between her and Kheira Hamraoui”.

Aminata also expressed in the statement she will not hesitate to launch legal action against any defamation.

Kheira Hamraoui on Instagram, Eric Abidal and his wife Hayet Abidal. Photo: Jean Catuffe, Getty Images, Instagram, @kheirahamraouiSource: Getty Images

Aminata’s legal representative Mourad Battikh said last week police had moved on to “more serious theories”.

According to multiple reports, new suspects have emerged — former Barcelona and French international defender Eric Abidal, along with his wife Hayet.

On the night of the attack, Hamraoui and another teammate got a ride home from Aminata Diallo, a midfielder for PSG, following a team outing in Paris.

When they arrived at Hamraoui’s home, two masked men approached the vehicle.

“They immediately start yelling: ‘Open the door! Open the door!’ The one on my side grabbed me and pulled me out of the vehicle,” Hamraoui said. “Before, he grabbed a rectangular iron bar that he had hidden in his pants or under his sweater.”

She told L’Equipe: “My attacker hit me with an iron bar several times. I saw that he was mainly targeting my legs and I was trying to protect myself with my hands. At that time, I didn’t see a weapon.”

The French newspaper also obtained photos of the injuries sustained by Hamraoui.

Hamraoui, according to The Sun, was “punched, kicked and beaten with an iron bar.”

The 31-year-old was taken to a hospital and required stitches for leg and hand injuries, ESPN reported.

The focus of the investigation has now shifted.

The Abidals appear to be at the centre of one theory being explored, The New York Post reports.

Eric Abidal was Barcelona’s sporting director when Hamraoui signed with the team in 2018, and was fired in 2020 after the men’s team suffered an 8-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

This combination of file photographs shows France’s midfielder Kheira Hamraoui and Aminata Diallo. Photo by Franck FIFE and Paul VERNON / AFP.Source: AFP

On Tuesday (AEDT), prosecutor Maryvonne Caillibotte said the 42-year-old will be “quizzed soon” by authorities as part of the investigation, ESPN reported. Hayet may also be questioned by the police, sources told the outlet.

Police reportedly discovered that Hamraoui had called Abidal on the morning of her attack while investigating her phone records.

L’Equipe said a number of PSG players that were questioned by police said Hamraoui also called Abidal the day after the attack. The phone and SIM card, in which the alleged calls were made, are reportedly registered in Abidal’s name.

The new reports have increased rumours that Abidal and Hamraoui were engaged in a romantic relationship. The outlet Marca said it’s been confirmed that, at some point during the attack, one of the attackers mentioned something about sleeping with married men.

Hamraoui on Wednesday made an appeal to the media to respect her privacy amid speculation about her relations with Eric Abidal.

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.

The Versailles prosecutors’ office, which is leading the investigation, said investigators could soon question the married couple, while saying it was “just one lead among many”.

Hamraoui was advised by doctors not to return to soccer for three weeks after the attack. There is no timetable for her return.

It’s remains to be seen if Diallo will return to the team. Both players missed PSG’s 6-1 win against title rivals Lyon on Monday.

— with AFP

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Premier League 2021/22 talking points, results, news, reaction, ladder, Chelsea form, Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United

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Ralf Rangnick won his first match as Manchester United interim manager this weekend after the top three in the Premier League swapped positions, with Manchester City now in the driving seat.

Newcastle at last tasted victory to give new manager Eddie Howe hope they can escape relegation while Steven Gerrard won his third match in four since taking over at Aston Villa.

Here are three talking points from the action in the English top flight.

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‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’: Arteta fumes as Gunners gunned down

Toffees notch sweet win over Gunners | 01:33

RANGNICK RESTORES ‘ORDER’ AT UTD

Ralf Rangnick was given an early sight of the job that lies ahead of him to ensure the Red Devils do not miss out on the top four.

The high-energy style the 63-year-old has built his reputation on in German football was on show early on at Old Trafford, just days after his arrival to replace the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But United struggled to maintain that intensity or break Palace down until Fred’s fine strike from outside the box 13 minutes from time.

A first home clean sheet of the season gives Rangnick a platform on which to build, but that was more due to the visitors’ caution and a glaring miss from Jordan Ayew than great defending.

United are now sixth in the table after a second straight win, just three points behind fourth-placed West Ham.

Rangnick bags first win with United | 01:26

However, Rangnick has an enticing run of fixtures coming up, with Norwich, Brentford, Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley to come before the end of the year.

United great Gary Neville said Rangnick got the “order” he would have wanted in the victory over Crystal Palace.

“I really enjoyed it,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show. “Was it flamboyant football? Were Manchester United at their absolute best in the last hour? It was a struggle at times.

“… 48 hours to be with his team and lets be clear in the last six to seven weeks Manchester United have been a mess defensively. They hadn’t had a clean sheet at home in 16 matches.

“They were conceding goals like you wouldn’t believe, getting battered at home against Liverpool and City. All the over teams have cut through them. What Ralf Rangnick would’ve wanted yesterday was order. Order in the performance and I think we got that.”

LIVERPOOL’S FORGOTTEN ‘LEGEND’ DELIVERS WHEN IT MATTERS

Divock Origi marked his 100th substitute appearance for Liverpool on Saturday with the latest in his collection of crucial late goals.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had dominated Wolves at Molineux but could not find a way through until the Belgium forward struck in the 94th minute, sparking scenes of delirium from the Liverpool bench.

Other memorable moments for Origi have included an 87th-minute strike in the 2019 Champions League final win against Tottenham and a last-gasp winner in a 2018 derby against Everton.

“He is a top striker, a top boy,” said Klopp, who described the 26-year-old as a “legend”.

“He is already here at Liverpool for a long time — he came here very young and has scored some of the most important goals in the history of this club.”

Origi saves Liverpool | 01:29

PROBLEMS FOR CHELSEA AS DESPERATE MOVE BACKFIRES

It is too soon to talk of serious problems at Chelsea after they suffered just their second Premier League defeat of the season against high-flying West Ham.

But they have now dropped points in three of their past five league games at a time when Manchester City and Liverpool have hit the accelerator.

The Stamford Bridge side are built of tough stuff under Thomas Tuchel and the game at the London Stadium was just the third time in 53 matches under the German that they had conceded more than once.

Tuchel acknowledged West Ham’s winner from Arthur Masuaku was a freak goal but bemoaned earlier mistakes.

He will be concerned at the lack of goals from his main forwards, particularly the out-of-sorts Romelu Lukaku, who was used as a substitute at the London Stadium.

Masuaku cross downs Chelsea | 01:31

Defender Reece James and attacking midfielder Mason Mount are the club’s top scorers this season, with five goals each in all competitions.

Big summer signing Lukaku has struggled with form and fitness this season and has not scored since mid-September after a bright start at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel conceded that he made a mistake in playing Lukaku at all against West Ham United after admitting the striker was not at the level of fitness required to play an influential role.

“It’s my fault,” the German boss said of Lukuka, who came on after half-time.

“I don’t think he is ready for 45 minutes physically but still we decided to bring him on for his height because we lost Kai (Havertz).

“Kai had a crucial role in defending set-pieces, which is a huge threat from West Ham, so this is on me. I took the decision so it’s my responsibility.”

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FA Cup draw in full: Man Utd get Gerrard's Aston Villa as minnows land dream Chelsea tie

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THE FA CUP draw has thrown up plenty of opportunity for giant killings when the third round gets underway shortly after the new year.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta furious with players for failing to 'execute' plans vs Everton

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ARSENAL lost 2-1 to Everton on Monday night to put a serious dent in their Champions League hopes.

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