Just football

Marseille suspend Patrice Evra following fan kick

Former Manchester United Patrice Evra has been suspended for kicking a fan in the head


French Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille have suspended Patrice Evra with immediate effect for kicking a fan in the head ahead of Europa League match against Vitoria Guimaraes on Thursday.

Evra, who was shown a straight red before the game kicked off, aimed an aerial kick at a Marseille fan in a heated confrontation before Thursday night’s match in Portugal.

Marseille confirmed they would interview the former Manchester United defender before deciding upon disciplinary action, while on Friday UEFA announced the 36-year-old would miss “at least one match” with further punishment likely to follow.

In a statement, Marseille condemned Evra’s reaction but also said they were launching an investigation and would take legal action against the fans who antagonised the player.

“Jacques-Henri Eyraud, Olympique de Marseille president, met with Patrice Evra today and suspended him internally with immediate effect and with a summons to an interview ahead of potential disciplinary action,” the statement said.

“Additionally, the early results of an internal investigation conducted by the club have revealed the unacceptable behaviour shown by a handful of provocative people slewing heinous insults particularly serious towards the player while he and his teammates prepared for an important match.

“As a professional and experienced player, Patrice Evra should not have responded in a manner that was also inappropriate.

“The club’s investigation continues and will exercise the means at its disposal against the individuals who, using a passion for Marseille as a disguise, put OM’s reputation in danger by entering the pitch and insulting a player instead of providing support.”

His manager Rudi Garcia said the following: “Pat has experience, and he must not react, it’s obvious.

“Patrice is a more than just an experienced player. You can’t respond, of course, to insults as bad as they are and as incredible as they might be because they come from one of our supporters.

“He must learn to keep his cool. That’s all I can say.”

Garcia also criticised the fan who was goading him, saying: “He’s not a supporter of Marseille, because you can’t insult your own players, you have to be behind all of us.”


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