Tuesday 11 December 2018

Marseille fans hold up banners criticising suspended defender Patrice Evra

TOPSHOT - Olympique de Marseille (OM) fans hold a banner reading
TOPSHOT - Olympique de Marseille (OM) fans hold a banner reading "for the love of the OM jersey, the respect of fans and professionalism, is it too much to ask?", prior to the start of the French L1 football match between Olympique de Marseille (OM) and Caen at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille on November 5, 2017. Marseille, in fifth, host Caen at the Velodrome in an atmosphere made tense after Patrice Evra was suspended by the club for aiming a karate kick at the head of one of his team's own supporters. / AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Marseille fans held up banners criticising suspended defender Patrice Evra ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Caen.

The former Manchester United full-back aimed a kick at one of the club's supporters before Thursday's game at Vitoria, and OM fans held up messages including the phrases "Evra go away" and "respect supporters" on Sunday.

The club swiftly suspended former France captain Evra, who arrived in January from Juventus, in the wake of Thursday's incident.

Images, tweeted by Marseille newspaper La Provence, showed one banner in the home end which read: "You thought you knew the institution OM and its supporters.

"We do not want you in our colours.

"Evra go away."

Another sign held up by supporters, published by L'Equipe, said: "Love the shirt, respect for supporters.

"Professionalism, is it too much to ask?"

The 36-year-old had been named as a substitute for the Europa League fixture away to Vitoria but lashed out at the fan in a heated confrontation prior to the match in Portugal.

Evra was sent off and on Friday UEFA announced the 36-year-old would miss "at least one match", with the organisation's disciplinary body set to discuss his case at its next meeting on November 10.

Marseille said in a statement on Friday that there had been "unacceptable behaviour" from some fans who subjected Evra and his team-mates to "hateful attacks" but said: "As a professional and experienced player, Patrice Evra could not respond in such an inappropriate way."

Evra is almost certain to face a more severe sanction from UEFA following scenes reminiscent of Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in 1995.

Video footage showed Evra aiming the kick at the Marseille fan as visiting 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. He was then ushered away by a team-mate.

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