Marseille suspends Evra for kicking fan pending UEFA hearing
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Marseille has suspended Patrice Evra and could take further action after the defender kicked one of the team’s fans before a Europa League game.
The French club’s announcement came after UEFA said earlier Friday that Evra will be banned for at least one game.
UEFA’s disciplinary body will meet on Nov. 10 to rule on the incident, in which Evra was sent off for violent conduct before the game in Portugal on Thursday.
After opening an internal investigation into Evra’s conduct, and following a meeting between Evra and club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud, Marseille decided to take action.
The club said in a statement Evra could face further sanctions. Although Marseille accepted Evra received some “hateful insults” he could in no way “respond in such an inappropriate manner.”
Evra got into a verbal argument with Marseille supporters who scaled barriers to confront him before the match against Portuguese club Vitoria.
Evra was seen aiming a kick at the head of one of his club’s fans and then being ushered away by a teammate. Evra, who was a substitute for the game, was issued a red card before the match.
“The club can only condemn all destructive behavior from pseudo supporters who insult their own players when everyone should be supporting the team,” Marseille said.
Evra, whose most successful spell as a player came at Manchester United and Juventus, has lost his place at Marseille this season to Jordan Amavi. But Evra has remained visible on Instagram videos, singing and having fun.
He was heavily criticized in some sections of the media, including by former France players such as Christophe Dugarry, for filming himself offering a bag of food to a homeless person on Marseille’s streets and posting a socially loaded message asking others what they were doing to help.
Evra’s temperament has been an issue in the past. He has clashed verbally with former players — especially Lilian Thuram and Dugarry — and with television pundits, often mocking some of them with invented names as a pun on their names.
Evra has dropped out of contention for France: His 81st and last appearance was a year ago in a World Cup qualifier against Sweden.
Evra was captain of the 2010 World Cup squad but was blamed for being the orchestrator of a training-ground strike that shocked the nation. The team refused to train after striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for insulting coach Raymond Domenech at halftime during a match against Mexico. Evra received a five-game ban from the French Football Federation after returning from South Africa.
AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire in Paris contributed to this report.