Malian international footballer Sambou Yatabaré was detained in police custody Monday after allegedly punching an off-duty police officer in the carpark of Paris's main airport, judicial sources told AFP.

Yatabare, a French-born midfielder who plays with German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, was being questioned for alleged violence against a person in public authority.

The dispute erupted in the carpark following a traffic incident on the motorway heading towards Charles de Gaulle airport.

"The policeman showed his weapon and his professional card to calm the accused," a source close to the investigation said.

But "once he had put them away a new verbal and physical altercation broke out".

Yatabare is alleged to have punched the policeman who fell to the ground and suffered damage to his eye.