Marseille have begun an investigation into the incident which saw full-back Patrice Evra aim a kick at one of his own fans last night.
The 36-year-old, named as a substitute for the Ligue 1 side’s fixture away to Vitoria, was sent off even before the game got under way for an “altercation with supporters”, according to a live text commentary on the Marseille website.
Video footage showed Evra lashing out at one of his own club’s fans as 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. Evra was then was ushered away by a team-mate.
According to a report in L’Equipe, he was reacting to taunts directed at him and that claim has now been supported by OM, who released the following statement: “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.”
The Frenchman, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during an eight-year spell with United, joined Marseille from Juventus in January.
UEFA has now opened disciplinary proceedings against him.
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.”
Patrice Evra is the first player to be red carded BEFORE kick-off in the history of the Europa League! 🔴pic.twitter.com/SSeywGlTOY
— 138.com (@138BET) November 2, 2017
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.
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.”