Patrice Evra, who captained the France soccer side, faces disciplinary proceedings after being shown a red card for aiming an acrobatic kick at a Marseille fan on Thursday, November 2, before the Europa League match against Portuguese side Vitoria SC.
UEFA — Europe's governing football body — confirmed on Friday, November 3, that Evra, who had earlier been named as a substitute, has been charged with violent conduct and suspended for at least one game for attacking a fan.
It is unclear whether he will face a lengthy ban similar to the one famously handed out to another French footballer Eric Cantona, who was banned for nine months by the Football Association after the Manchester United star lashed out in January 1985, and attempted a Kung Fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter.
Video footage shows the 36-year-old defender heatedly arguing with fans standing at the side of the pitch before he is seen aiming a kick at one of the supporters, who had reportedly insulted him.
He was escorted away by some of his teammates to the dressing room where Evra, who previously played for Manchester United, was sent off by the referee before the game had even kicked off.
Patrice Evra has been sent off for Marseille before the game kicked-off 😳 pic.twitter.com/kYs4yRQ4e3— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) November 2, 2017
Marseille manager Rudi Garcia criticized the supporter for goading the player, but also expressed his disappointment that the professional had responded in the way he did.
"He is not a supporter, because you cannot insult your own players, you have to be behind everyone… Patrice is more than experienced player and we cannot respond to insults so low and so incredible because they come from one of our supporters," he said.
The incident has thrown Evra's career into doubt, having only joined the French club in January from Italian side Juventus. The player is out of contract in the summer.