x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Evra pays hefty price for fracas

A four-match suspension, and a £15,000 (Dh80,900) fine. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, Patrice Evra. All the best when it comes.

Patrice Evra, right, fights with Chelsea ground staff in April.
Patrice Evra, right, fights with Chelsea ground staff in April.

A four-match suspension, and a £15,000 (Dh80,900) fine. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, Patrice Evra. All the best when it comes. The Manchester United defender had been out on bail for a crime he was party to seven months ago before punishment was finally handed down. Just as the festive season envelopes the UK, Evra is facing over a month out in the cold. Whether or not such a ruling is just desserts, they obviously like to take their time at the Football Association. While he is on millionaires' row at United, Evra has found himself on some sort of footballing version of death row since being deemed to have attacked a Chelsea steward after a Premier League game in April.

After Chelsea secured a 2-1 win a period of chaos ensued. Chelsea were fined £25,000 for the conduct of the steward after an unruly series of events, which saw their official accused of directing racist language towards Evra and some sort of free-for-all ensuing between up to 20 men including United players and Chelsea groundstaff. United will have to make do without Evra for the Premier League games at Stoke City on Boxing Day and their trip to Middlesbrough on December 29. He will also sit out the FA Cup tie at Southampton on January 4, and the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.

Having reached five bookings for the season, Evra is also out of the meeting with Tottenham Hotspur on December 13. He will not be available to play in the Premier League until Chelsea visit Old Trafford on January 11. United are contemplating submitting an appeal for a penalty they have deemed "excessive". Perhaps they should also launch some type of appeal against the excessive length of time it has taken to address the matter.

Such a misdemeanour should have been dealt with long before the final month of the year. A two-day commission decided Evra was guilty, and dished out a verdict that pleased Chelsea, but left United seeking justice. "Manchester United note the announcement from the FA and are disappointed with the decision, and in particular consider the sanctions against Patrice Evra excessive," the club said in a statement.

"Manchester United and Patrice will consider all options once there has been an opportunity to digest the full reasons for the decision." If United go ahead with an appeal, the saga could be dragged out to a year. An unacceptable length of time to go with a charge of unacceptable conduct. dkane@thenational.ae