PARIS – 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.
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 while he was captain – a series of events known as “the Knysna affair”.