Kung fu kick Evra ‘should have known better’, says Deschamps


Olympique de Marseille (OM) fans hold a banner reading
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

France coach Didier Deschamps predicted Patrice Evra would pay a heavy price for kicking a Marseille fan last week and says the former national captain should have known better.

“I’m neither condemning him nor judging him,” said Deschamps, for whom Evra played at Monaco and with France.

“Patrice is fully aware of the consequences.

“It’s something that you just can’t do and he knows that,” said Deschamps about Marseille left-back Evra assaulting one of the club’s fans ahead of a Europa League game against Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal last Thursday.

“Decisions will follow from both UEFA and his club,” Deschamps said.

The 36-year-old was suspended by Marseille on Friday after he was red carded for the assault which happened in the pre-match warm up.

Teammates try to calm down Marseille's defender Patrice Evra (back L) as he tries to kick a supporter before the start of the UEFA Europa League group I football match Vitoria SC vs Marseille at the D. Afonso Henriques stadium in Guimaraes on November 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO
Teammates try to calm down Marseille’s defender Patrice Evra (back L) as he tries to kick a supporter before the start of the UEFA Europa League group I football match Vitoria SC vs Marseille at the D. Afonso Henriques stadium in Guimaraes on November 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO

Marseille fans made their hostile feelings clear to Evra at the club’s Velodrome Stadium on Sunday unfurling banners against the player as the club thrashed Caen 5-0 in Ligue 1.

Chants rang out insulting the former Manchester United and Juventus left-back, while one banner carried the slogan “This Game is Over” in English, parodying Evra’s favourite slogan of “I love this game”.

Another banner read: “We don’t want you in our colours anymore. Evra get lost.”

One French garment designer released a t-shirt this week that reads in French “Un petit Pat pour l’homme – Un grand Pat vers la retraite” – A small step for the man, a giant step towards retirement.

The caption, a play on words with ‘Pat’ and ‘pas’ (step) evokes American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s iconic message back to earth when he became the first man to step on the moon in 1969.

In contrast to how Evra is remembered in Manchester, in France there has been a whiff of sulphur to Evra’s reputation since a player’s strike at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa whilst he was captain – a series of events known as ‘the Knysna affair’.

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