Evra fired by Marseille, banned by UEFA
NYON, Switzerland (AP):
Patrice Evra was fired by Marseille yesterday after being suspended by UEFA for all remaining European games this season for kicking a fan of the French club.
The volatile defender was also fined US$11,650 by UEFA.
The 36-year-old Evra got into a verbal argument with Marseille supporters before a Europa League match against Portuguese club Vitoria on November 2. He then aimed a kick at the head of one of the Marseille fans before being ushered away by a teammate. The Frenchman was sent off before the game.
Shortly after UEFA banned Evra until June 30, 2018, from its club matches, Marseille said his contract was terminated with "immediate effect."
Evra committed an "irreparable" act by "responding to the disgraceful provocations of a handful of individuals," the club said on its website, adding the decision was taken by "mutual consent."
Marseille said it intended to punish fans for the type of misconduct they showed toward Evra, but did not specify whether it would punish those who insulted the former France defender.
Marseille is well-known for having a powerful fan base that can exert pressure on the club and players alike.
"There's a lot of sadness today. First of all for Patrice Evra, who has obviously understood all the consequences of his act and that he can no longer fulfill his passion (of playing) for Marseille," club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud said. "For Marseille fans, too, who are stigmatised by the irresponsible behaviour from a handful of them."
Before last Sunday's home game against Caen, fans made it clear to Evra he was no longer welcome at the club, holding aloft two banners criticising him at Stade Velodrome.
"This Game Is Over," read one banner in English, mocking Evra's regular posts on social media where he films himself talking about soccer and says "I love this game" as he breaks into laughter.
Marseille was also charged with invasion of the field by its fans, setting off fireworks, and acts of damage. It must pay Vitoria US$29,000 within 30 days.