Marseille defender Patrice Evra was sent off before his team’s Europa League match at Vitoria Guimaraes on Thursday for kicking a fan in the head:
— Karim Attab (@karimattab1) November 2, 2017
Evra, formerly of Manchester United and Juventus, was on the bench for the match in Portugal, but became involved in an altercation with traveling Marseille fans during warmups.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported that Evra’s kick was a response to taunts from the fans. Teammates helped calm the situation after Evra lashed out, but he was sent off by the referee.
Because Evra was on the bench, the red card came with few consequences on the day. Marseille was still able to play with 11 players – it just had six substitutes to choose from rather than seven. But Evra will surely receive a lengthy UEFA ban. (The fans will likely receive bans as well.)
Evra, remarkably, isn’t the first Frenchman to kick a fan. Man United legend Eric Cantona famously leapt over the advertising boards and kung-fu kicked a fan during a match in 1995:
Cantona was suspended nine months for the incident, and was initially sentenced to two weeks in prison, though that sentence was eventually reduced to 120 hours of community service.
The circumstances of Evra’s kick were different, but UEFA will surely investigate and levy some sort of punishment.
Guimaraes won the match 1-0.