NYON/ MARSEILLE: European federation UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Patrice Evra after the Marseille defender aimed a kick at the head of one of the French club’s supporters.
The former Manchester United player, named as a substitute for OM’s fixture away to Vitoria, lashed out at the fan in a heated confrontation before Thursday night’s match in Portugal.
UEFA has announced the 36-year-old would miss “at least one match”, with the organisation’s disciplinary body set to discuss his case at its next meeting on November 10.
Evra is almost certain to face a more severe sanction after scenes reminiscent of Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in 1995.
Video footage showed Evra aiming the kick at the Marseille fan as visiting players and supporters, who had seemingly scaled barriers to reach the advertising hoardings at the Estadio D Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes, confronted each other at the side of the pitch. He was then ushered away by a team-mate.
Marseille boss Rudi Garcia revealed afterwards Evra had reacted to taunts from the fans, but still criticised his actions.
“Pat has experience and he must not react, it’s obvious,” Garcia was quoted by L’Equipe as telling BeIN Sports.
“Patrice is a more than experienced player and we cannot respond to insults so low and so incredible because they come from one of our supporters.”
On the fan, Garcia said: “He is not a supporter of OM, because you cannot insult your own players, you have to be behind everyone.”
Former France captain Evra, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during an eight-year spell with United, joined Marseille from Juventus in January. He has made just two appearances for the club in all competitions this season, though.
Marseille have begun an investigation into the incident.
A club statement said: “A professional player must maintain self-control despite provocations and insults, no matter how unjustified they may be.
“At the same time, the club can only condemn any destructive behaviour by pseudo-supporters which hurts their own players at a time when they should instead be supporting their team.”Further to UEFA investigation’s into Evra, the governing body has charged Marseille with breaches of Article 16 of its disciplinary regulations: namely the “field invasion by supporters, the setting-off of fireworks and acts of damages.”