Marseille Suspended Patrice Evra As He Kicked A Fan In The Head
Patrice Evra’s future at Marseille looks in serious doubt after the club suspended the left back for kicking a fan in the head before their Europa League clash with Vitoria Guimaraes.
The 36-year-old former Manchester United defender clashed with supporters before the Thursday night game, and aimed an acrobatic attack at one person.
The Ligue 1 club said they would interview Evra before deciding on further punishment, but he has been removed from first-team consideration.
The statement said: ‘Jacques-Henri Eyraud, President of Olympique de Marseille, met Patrice Evra and informed him of his suspension with immediate effect and his summons to an interview prior to a possible disciplinary sanction.’
However, the club did also appear to lay some blame on the supporters in question, who were by the advertising hoardings at the side of the pitch berating Evra and his team mates as they warmed up.
Marseille, fourth in Ligue 1, said: ‘The first results of the internal investigation conducted by the club reveal unacceptable behaviour on the part of a handful of provocateurs who uttered particularly serious hateful attacks against the player, as he and his team-mates warmed up for an important game.
‘As a professional and experienced player, Patrice Evra could not respond in such an inappropriate way.
‘The club is continuing its investigation and will use all the legal means at its disposal against individuals who, under the guise of their passion for OM, endanger their reputation by entering the field and insulting a player. instead of supporting him.’
Evra is facing a long ban after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings over his kung-fu kick to a fan’s head.
European football’s governing body will hold a special hearing on Friday to decide the Marseille left back’s fate and are expected to come down hard on the player, who has been handed an initial one-match ban.
Evra was subjected to jeers from the away end in Portugal for about half an hour before the altercation, witnesses said.
Fans yelled ‘Leave the OM!’ and ‘You suck!’ and shouting other, as yet undisclosed, insults. The player went to confront them, inspiring dozens of supporters to leap over the barriers and meet him face-to-face.
Footage shows Evra vaulting advertising hoardings and demanding that the fans join him pitch-side. As one angry fan sprinted towards him, the defender instinctively put out his fist and landed a punch on the aggressor’s face.
Marseille’s statement also blamed the fans in question, calling out a ‘handful of provocateurs’
Evra was quickly pulled away by his team-mates but sneaked around the group of players and executed a kung-fu style kick on an unsuspecting supporter. He was immediately sent off by match official Tamas Bognar.
The dust-up was reminiscent of the 1995 Eric Cantona incident. Manchester United’s Cantona, sent off at Selhurst Park, launched himself at a Crystal Palace fan on his way to the dressing room.
Marseille went on to lose the game 1-0 but remain in second place in their group with six points, two behind Red Bull Salzburg but two ahead of both Vitoria and Konyaspor with two matchdays remaining.