November 13 – The career of former France captain Patrice Evra has been plunged into disgrace with the veteran defender thrown out of European competition by UEFA until the end of June next year for his infamous kick on one of his own Marseille fans in a Europa League tie at Guimaraes earlier this month.
The 36-year-old former Monaco, Manchester United and Juventus full-back has also left Marseille by mutual consent and been fined €10,000 though his agent insists he will not throw in the towel.
Since his ban only applies to UEFA club competitions, Evra, whose action was witnessed on television throughout the globe, could still play domestic football and his agent Federico Pastorello claims a host of clubs are interested in signing him.
“He knows he’s made a mistake, but his career does not end here,” Pastorello told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He doesn’t want it to end like this. Physically, he’s in better shape now than he was five or six years ago and many clubs have already made enquiries.”
Evra had played in just four of Marseille’s Ligue 1 games this season before initially being suspended and then sacked for misconduct.
Although Evra can have no excuse about his behaviour, L’Equipe reported that Marseille supporters had been abusing him – though not racially – for about half an hour while the players warmed up for the game with Vitoria Guimaraes.
Evra, who was named as a substitute for the game, was dismissed before kick-off so Marseille were able to begin the match with 11 players.
During their Ligue 1 win over Caen last weekend, some Marseille fans unfurled a banner that read: ‘You thought you were above the institution OM and its supporters. We don’t want you wearing our colours. Evra get out.’
Which is ultimately exactly what happened. Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud, in a statement on the club’s website, said: “Today there is great sadness at the club, above all for Patrice Evra, who well understands the consequences of his actions and is no longer able to undertake his passion at Olympic Marseille, and for the Olympic Marseille supporters, who have been stigmatised by the irresponsible behaviour of a handful of fans.
“Despite this incident, we are determined more than ever to demonstrate on and off the field that we are driven by the highest individual and collective standards.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com