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Patrice Evra Suspended by Olympique Marseille After Kicking Fan

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 2:  Olympique Marseille Patrice Evra from France before the start of the UEFA Europa League match between Vitoria de Guimaraes and Olympique Marseille at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on November 2, 2017 in Guimaraes, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille has officially suspended Patrice Evra and summoned him to a meeting after his altercation with a fan before Thursday's UEFA Europa League tie against Vitoria Guimaraes.

Marseille confirmed Evra's suspension in a statement on its official website on Friday (h/t ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson):

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

OFFICIAL: Patrice Evra has been suspended by Marseille & summoned to a meeting with a view to disciplinary measures. #OM https://t.co/a4F8ZTDf7O

BBC Sport provided a translation of Marseille's statement:

"As a professional and experienced player, Patrice Evra could not respond in such an inappropriate way.

In addition, the first results of the internal investigation conducted by the club reveal unacceptable behaviour on the part of a handful of provocateurs who uttered particularly serious hateful attacks against the player, even though the latter and his team-mates warmed up for an important game."

While Evra is suspended, Johnson noted the club has not completely jettisoned the player just yet:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Patrice Evra not sacked. Suspended internally (no pay & isolated) ahead of disciplinary talks. Not fired (maybe as good as though). #OM

The disciplinary action comes after Evra appeared to kick out at a Marseille supporter before the game, per another report from BBC SportL'Equipe reported a section of supporters had jeered at Evra during the warm-ups.

His suspension at club level comes after UEFA already imposed a one-game ban on the veteran defender for European competitions, per BBC Sport.

French Football journalist and BT Sport Football pundit Julien Laurens relayed an image of the confrontation on his Twitter account:

Julien Laurens @LaurensJulien

Let’s do this again. This is Patrice Evra kicking a Marseille fan, his own club!!!He got sent off for it before kick off at Guimaraes. https://t.co/LUTpWjc7hj

UEFA will examine the incident and discuss potential further punishment when they meet on Nov. 10, according to BBC Sport.

Meanwhile, Marseille manager Rudi Garcia called for the 36-year-old left-back to control his emotions, per Sky Sports: "Patrice is a more than just an experienced player. You can't respond, of course, to insults as bad as they are and as incredible as they might be because they come from one of our supporters."

However, Garcia was also critical of the fan involved in the clash: "He's not a supporter of Marseille, because you can't insult your own players—you have to be behind all of us."

Evra's defence, if he offers one, will likely hinge on the nature and vehemence of the insults the fan levelled at him before he struck out. Yet European Football's governing body is still likely to adopt a stern response to a player clashing physically with a supporter.

That Marseille moved so quickly to take action only underlines the seriousness of the situation for Evra, who has also played for AS Monaco, Manchester United and Juventus.

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