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Patrice Evra banned from UEFA club competitions

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Marseille defender Patrice Evra has been suspended from all UEFA games until June 2018 for kicking one of his own team’s fans before a Europa League game, UEFA said Friday.

Evra was suspended from “all UEFA club competition matches” until June 30 and must pay a fine of 10,000 euros ($11,650).

Evra got into a verbal argument with Marseille supporters before the match against Portuguese club Vitoria on November 2. He then aimed a kick at the head of one of the Marseille fans before being ushered away by a teammate.

The 36-year-old France defender was sent off before the game.

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Marseille, which has opened its own internal investigation into the incident, said in a statement shortly after UEFA’s announcement that it has ended Evra’s contract with” immediate effect.”

Evra committed an “irreparable” act by “responding to the disgraceful provocations of a handful of individuals,” the club said on its website, adding the decision was taken by ”mutual consent.”

Marseille said it intended to punish fans for the type of misconduct they showed toward Evra but did not specify whether it would punish those who had insulted the former France defender.

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Marseille is well-known for having a powerful fan base that can exert pressure on the club and players alike.

“There’s a lot of sadness today. First of all for Patrice Evra, who has obviously understood all the consequences of his actions and that he can no longer fulfill his passion (of playing) for Marseille,” club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud said. ”For Marseille fans, too, who are stigmatized by the irresponsible behaviour of a handful of them.”

Before last Sunday’s home game against Caen, fans made it clear to Evra he was no longer welcome at the club, holding aloft two banners criticizing the player before the match at Stade Velodrome.

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

Former European Cup champion Marseille, the only French club to win the Champions League, was also charged with invasion of the field by its fans, setting off fireworks, and acts of damages. It must pay Vitoria 25,000 euros ($29,000) within 30 days.

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Barcelona defender, Umtiti, tests positive for COVID-19

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Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has tested positive for coronavirus, the club confirmed on Friday.

Umtiti, 26, is currently recovering from his latest injury setback after once more suffering discomfort in his left knee, which has kept him out of action since July.

And he has now joined fellow defender jean-Clair Todibo in catching the virus,  although without showing any symptoms or health problems.

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Dutch boss Wiegmann to replace Neville as England coach

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Sarina Wiegman is to replace Phil Neville as head coach of the England women’s football team next year, the Football Association announced on Friday.

The 50-year-old Dutch woman will take charge of the Netherlands in next year’s Olympics before assuming control of England.

The former Dutch international defender will be in charge when England hosts the 2022 Euros, the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the following Euros in 2025.

Wiegman was the FA’s preferred choice ahead of reportedly two-time World Cup-winning former USA coach Jill Ellis.

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Ellis’s second World Cup triumph came at the expense of Wiegman’s Dutch side last year.

“I’m delighted and honored to join England Women next year,” Wiegman said in a statement.

“England is the cradle of football and the major developments in women’s football globally over recent years have been led by the FA.

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“I’m very much looking forward to contributing my experience and expertise to this ambitious team.”

Under Wiegman, Holland won the 2017 European Championship as hosts

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Matuidi joins Beckham’s Inter Miami

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France’s World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi will join David Beckham’s Major League Soccer club Inter Miami, the American club announced Thursday.

Matuidi, 33, has left Italian champion Juventus by mutual consent after three years, for the club co-owned by Beckham, his former Paris Saint-Germain teammate.

Matuidi joined the Turin giant from PSG in 2017 and had one year left on his contract.

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The move comes less than a year before the European football championship, postponed this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Matudi played in the 2018 World Cup final when France beat Croatia 4-2.

Matuidi won three Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup at Juve, where he played 133 games in all competition.

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He helped the club to a ninth Serie A title in a row this season, but the Italian giant crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16.

He also won four Ligue 1 titles during six years at PSG, having previously played for French clubs Troyes and Saint Etienne.

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