Evra handed lengthy UEFA ban; Marseille deal terminated

Patrice Evra’s contract with Marseille has been terminated with immediate effect following the French defender’s seven-month ban from UEFA competitions.

The former Manchester United full-back, now 36, was dismissed prior to the start of the Europa League clash with Vitoria earlier this month after clashing with a Marseille fan.

On Friday afternoon UEFA announced Evra had been suspended from all European club matches until June 30 next year and fined 10,000 euros, with Marseille then promptly publishing a statement that said the south-coast side and the player had mutually agreed to “end their working relationship”.

In scenes reminiscent of Eric Cantona’s infamous ‘kung-fu’ kick on a Crystal Palace supporter while playing for United in 1995, Evra lost his cool after apparently being verbally abused by some of the club’s fans.

Marseille, who were fined 25,000 euros for a pitch invasion by supporters, originally suspended Evra and criticised his inappropriate response to what the club described as “hateful attacks” from fans.

While announcing on Friday they had released the player, they reiterated their condemnation of both parties.

A statement published on om.net read: “Patrice Evra has been exemplary on the field and in the locker room. He played an important role in reviving the team and in the improvement of results.

“However, on November 2 in Guimaraes he committed an irreparable act by responding to provocations from a handful of individuals. Nothing justified such a reaction, especially from a senior player whose attitude both on and off the pitch should inspire the youngest of us.

“In that context, the conditions were no longer right for Patrice Evra to accomplish his mission here with serenity or, above all, effectively. Both parties agreed to end the collaboration by mutual consent.

“This incident also highlighted the unacceptable attitude of a small number of people who uttered insults and threats of violence towards the player and his family before contemptuously invading the pitch.

“Such behaviour, which exposes the club to sanctions, has no place in the stands of a football stadium and at Marseille in particular.”