Former Barcelona and France star Eric Abidal may be questioned by the magistrate investigating the beating of Paris Saint-Germain women’s star Kheira Hamraoui, AFP learned on Monday.
Police passed the investigation to prosecutors in Versailles outside Paris on Monday.
Seeking new leads in the case after Hamraoui’s teammate Aminata Diallo was released from custody without charge, it was established Hamraoui was using a telephone SIM card registered in Abidal’s name on the night of the attack.
Hamraoui recently returned to PSG following three seasons at Barcelona, where Abidal was director of football from 2018-2020.
Abidal is a household name in France after his years as a Barcelona player and French international. He made a stunning return to his playing career after undergoing a liver transplant in 2012.
On Monday, prosecutors told AFP that Abidal “is just one lead among many”, but refused to rule out questioning Abidal’s wife Hayet.
The assault on Hamraoui took place while she was being driven home by Diallo on November 4.
Their car was stopped by masked men who dragged the players from the vehicle and beat Hamraoui’s legs with a metal bar while restraining Diallo.
The 31-year-old Hamraoui required stitches and Diallo, who was not injured, played in her place in PSG’s following match.
Diallo, 26, was then detained for nearly 35 hours before being released without charge, as investigators looked into whether on-field rivalry might explain the violence.
French media reported that Hamraoui had raised concerns 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.