Patrice Evra

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Patrice Evra returns to PL, signs with West Ham

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LONDON (AP) Former France defender Patrice Evra joined West Ham on a short-term deal on Wednesday, three months after getting fired by Marseille and banned from UEFA competitions for kicking a fan before a Europa League match.

The 36-year-old left back returns to the Premier League after ending a trophy-laden, eight-year spell at Manchester United in 2014. In his last season at United, he played under coach David Moyes – now the manager of West Ham.

Marseille ripped up Evra’s contract after he aimed a kick at the head of one of the French club’s fans before a Europa League match against Portuguese club Vitoria on Nov. 2. UEFA banned Evra from European club competition until June 30 but he is free to play domestic league soccer.

Evra apologized for his actions soon after the incident, saying he’d responded to “disgraceful provocations” by some fans.

Evra’s contract with West Ham runs until the end of June.

“It was the fastest thing I have done in my life,” said Evra, who flew to London from Dubai to complete the move once he was told about West Ham’s interest.

West Ham is short of cover at left back because Arthur Masuaku is serving a six-game ban for spitting at an opponent. Evra joins an aging defense that also includes Pablo Zabaleta (33) and Jose Fonte (34).

Evra has played 81 times for France, captaining the national team at the 2010 World Cup.

Evra banned from all UEFA competitions after attacking his own fans

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Patrice Evra has been banned from all UEFA club competitions until June 30, 2018 after attacking one of his own fans at Marseille.

So, the remainder of the 2017-18 season in the Europa League and Champions League. The left back was also handed a $11,650 fine.

[ VIDEO: Watch Evra’s attack ]

Evra, 36, was sent off before Marseille’s game at Vitoria Guimaraes on Nov. 2 for aiming a kick at one of his own fans after an altercation on the side of the pitch.

Marseille then had to play the entire game with 10-men and Evra’s future at the Ligue 1 club is over with Marseille banning him and the French club saying his deal has now been terminated as they also claim the decision was mutual.

Now, if he decides to carry on playing elsewhere, Evra will not be available to play in European club competitions for the next seven months.

Evra’s glittering career with Monaco, Manchester United and his resurgence at Juventus in recent years — he has won eight league titles (five in England, two in Italy and one in France) and a UEFA Champions League title at United — looks like it will end in controversial fashion.

Marseille fans turn on Evra after attack

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Marseille fans have told Patrice Evra he is no longer welcome at the club after the defender kicked a supporter in the head.

Evra was suspended by Marseille on Friday, a day after he confronted a fan and aimed a kick at his head ahead of a Europa League game in Portugal. Evra, who appeared to make light contact with his foot, had shortly before aimed a punch at the same fan.

Fans held aloft two banners criticizing Evra before Sunday’s home match against Caen at Stade Velodrome.

“This Game Is Over,” read one banner in English, mocking Evra’s regular posts on social media where he films himself talking about football and says, “I love this game,” as he breaks into laughter.

Another banner, in French, read: “Love for the jersey. Respect for supporters. Professionalism. Is that too much to ask?”

Other fans chanted against Evra during the game against Caen, which Marseille won 5-0.

Thursday’s incident before the match against Vitoria caused many other Marseille fans to come down from the stands to try and confront Evra, who was then led away by a teammate.

As the players were warming up before the match, Evra had moved away from the field and toward the away section of Marseille fans where an argument began and then escalated.

The 36-year-old Evra is a controversial and often unpopular figure in French football. He was the captain when France went on strike at training during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in protest after teammate Nicolas Anelka was sent home. He was given a five-match ban by the French Football Federation.

The reaction this time round was intense, with former national team players and television pundits roundly condemning him.

UEFA said Friday that Evra will be banned for at least one game. Its disciplinary body will meet next Friday to rule on the incident. He also faces further sanctions from Marseille, which has opened an internal investigation.

Although Marseille said it accepted Evra received some “hateful insults” from a group of fans, the club said he could in no way “respond in such an inappropriate manner.”

Evra’s temperament has been an issue in the past. He has clashed verbally with former players — especially Lilian Thuram and Christophe Dugarry — and with television pundits, often mocking some of them with invented names as a pun on their names.

The attack-minded left back’s 81st and last appearance for France was a year ago in a World Cup qualifier against Sweden.

Earlier this season, Evra was heavily criticized in some sections of the media, including by Dugarry, for filming himself offering a bag of food to a homeless person on Marseille’s streets and posting a message asking others what they were doing to help.

Patrice Evra suspended by Marseille for kicking out at fan

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Patrice Evra‘s career may be at a crossroads.

In the hours after kicking an Olympique Marseille fan that earned him a pre-match red card, Evra’s club swiftly announced that he had been suspended, with a interview set to come that could lead to more punishment. While he has a one-match Europa League ban currently, UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings, and he could fact both a longer internal and external ban.

[ MORE: Ligue 1 score, schedule ]

In its statement, the club admitted that its own fans had provoked Evra along with rushing onto the edge of the field to cause trouble, but that Evra had no right to act in that manner. Evra broke a Europa League record with his red card, as Marseille fell on the road, 1-0 to Vitoria Guimaraes.

The 36-year-old is in his second season at Marseille after three seasons with Juventus and nine seasons at Manchester United.

This isn’t Evra’s first brush with controversy. Evra accused Luis Suarez in 2011 of racial abuse, leading to an awkward exchange in which Suarez wouldn’t shake Evra’s hand before a Manchester United-Liverpool match.

Evra was also involved in the French National Team mutiny in 2010 that sabotaged the nation’s hopes at the World Cup in South Africa.

Patrice Evra sent off before Europa League match begins (Video)

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Patrice Evra put himself in the record books on Thursday, but probably not for something he had previously hoped to accomplish.

[ MORE: Everton eliminated from Europa League play after falling to Lyon ]

The Marseille defender was sent off for the club’s UEFA Europa League match… before the game actually began.

Evra, 36, was visibly seen swinging his left leg towards a fan after several Marseille players were confronted by Vitoria Guimarães supporters prior to kick off.

It is unclear as to what words were exchanged during the encounter, or what prompted the situation, but it’s certainly a bad optic for all parties involved.

Per OptaJean, Evra became the first player in Europa League history to be sent off before kick off.