Marseille have suspended Patrice Evra after he kicked a fan in the head before his side’s Europa League defeat at Vitoria Guimaraes on Thursday.
Footage showed the 36-year-old former Manchester United defender aiming an acrobatic kick at a supporter at the side of the pitch during the warm-up.
Evra will be interviewed before any disciplinary action is decided.
A Marseille statement also condemned the “unacceptable behaviour” by a “handful of provocateurs”.
European football’s governing body Uefa charged France international Evra with violent conduct earlier on Friday, with the full-back suspended for “at least one game”.
The player had gone over to the fans to talk to them – but the situation escalated.
Evra, who was named as a substitute, was dismissed before kick-off, and Marseille began the game with 11 players.
“As a professional and experienced player, Patrice Evra could not respond in such an inappropriate way,” the statement added.
“In addition, the first results of the internal investigation conducted by the club reveal unacceptable behaviour on the part of a handful of provocateurs who uttered particularly serious hateful attacks against the player, even though the latter and his team-mates warmed up for an important game.”
His former Manchester United team-mate, Mikael Silvestre, told BBC Sport that Evra had “no future” at Marseille, but that the incident would not be the end of his career.
How it happened
- Named as a substitute, Evra begins warming up with his team-mates before the game
- The former Manchester United left-back appears to be the target of songs and abuse from the crowd for about 30 minutes
- Evra approaches the Marseille fans, about 500 of whom had travelled to Guimaraes
- He volleys a ball towards the crowd, but some of his team-mates come over and look to calm the defender down
- Evra climbs over the billboards and looks to confront spectators who have come towards the front of the stand
- The 36-year-old returns to the pitch, but a group of fans approach the billboards and Evra appears to kick one of them
- Evra is led away to the substitutes’ bench, but is sent off by the referee and watches the game from the stands
Julien Laurens, French football expert
It is really sad. Patrice Evra is 36, he has got two children. He has played five Champions League finals, a Euro final, won lots of titles and this is probably the last few weeks of his career – it is really sad this is how he is going to end.
You shouldn’t abuse your own player – the abuse from the fans was targeted only at Evra – but Evra should never have responded the way he did.
It has been really tough for him since the beginning of the season. He lost his place in the team, he has been really poor every time he played, and I think he just couldn’t take the jeers, the abuse.
There were a lot of insults, but the fans were also saying stuff like: “You’re rubbish, go home. Keep doing your videos, but stop playing football.”
The way they insulted him and his family – that doesn’t justify his reaction – but you can see why he got frustrated.
He is 100%. He says things like they are, he reacts the way they are. He says there are no fibs with him, so you get it as he says it or as he does it. Sometimes he should think a bit more.