Evra denies homophobia after social media spat with PSG


Paris (AFP) – Patrice Evra has hit back at accusations of homophobia after Paris Saint-Germain blasted the former France captain for calling the Ligue 1 club “a bunch of queers” in the aftermath of their Champions League exit to Manchester United.

Earlier, PSG condemned “Patrice Evra’s homophobic insults aimed at us… on social media” after a bizarre spat in which Evra used the French word “pede”, a derogatory term for homosexuals, to describe the Parisians.

Nonetheless, the 37-year-old claimed his comments had been twisted by the French media.

“I made a video, as a joke as a friend, and the French media, they take it because I used the word ‘pede’, so they translated as I am against the gay people,” Evra said on Twitter.

“I am not homophobic. I love everybody. So if I offend someone or I hurt someone, I already apologised.

“You have to be free for whatever you want to do in life, I will never judge anyone. Only God can judge me.”

Tensions began to mount between PSG and when Evra when the former United defender posted a video on Instagram, where he has 5.8 million followers, from PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium celebrating the Premier League side’s stunning 3-1 away win in the Champions League last 16.

This drew criticism from former PSG player and television pundit Jerome Rothen, who was a France and Monaco teammate of Evra.

Evra responded to Rothen by threatening to “smash his face in”.

The left-back, who played 379 times for United and 81 times for France, has a history of provocative statements and was the French captain during their infamous strike at the 2010 World Cup.

Evra denies homophobia after social media spat with PSG


Paris (AFP) – Patrice Evra has hit back at accusations of homophobia after Paris Saint-Germain blasted the former France captain for calling the Ligue 1 club “a bunch of queers” in the aftermath of their Champions League exit to Manchester United.

Earlier, PSG condemned “Patrice Evra’s homophobic insults aimed at us… on social media” after a bizarre spat in which Evra used the French word “pede”, a derogatory term for homosexuals, to describe the Parisians.

Nonetheless, the 37-year-old claimed his comments had been twisted by the French media.

“I made a video, as a joke as a friend, and the French media, they take it because I used the word ‘pede’, so they translated as I am against the gay people,” Evra said on Twitter.

“I am not homophobic. I love everybody. So if I offend someone or I hurt someone, I already apologised.

“You have to be free for whatever you want to do in life, I will never judge anyone. Only God can judge me.”

Tensions began to mount between PSG and when Evra when the former United defender posted a video on Instagram, where he has 5.8 million followers, from PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium celebrating the Premier League side’s stunning 3-1 away win in the Champions League last 16.

This drew criticism from former PSG player and television pundit Jerome Rothen, who was a France and Monaco teammate of Evra.

Evra responded to Rothen by threatening to “smash his face in”.

The left-back, who played 379 times for United and 81 times for France, has a history of provocative statements and was the French captain during their infamous strike at the 2010 World Cup.

Turkish Cypriot leader snubs peace football match


Pyla (Cyprus) (AFP) – Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci snubbed a football match Tuesday aimed at fostering dialogue on the divided island, in a row over where the game was played.

“It was not possible for us to take part after it had no longer any links to the principles put forward in advance,” Akinci told journalists.

The match between Cypriot club Nea Salamina Ammochostou and Magusa Turk Gucu, from the breakaway north, kicked off in the mixed village of Pyla.

The village sits in the UN-patrolled buffer zone and spreads into Cypriot territory to the south, where the football game was held.

“In the buffer region, it would be equal… but this development created a new situation,” Akinci said.

He added that he was not in principle against going to joint events across the border, but only if such events were also held in the north.

The match was attended by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who declined to comment on the absence of the Turkish Cypriot leader.

“We can remember the good old days when our teams did not have any trouble playing each other and I wish to experience those good old times as soon as possible,” he told journalists.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern third of the island in response to a Greek military junta-sponsored coup.

Akinci and Anastasiades met in the buffer zone last month for informal talks, but no date has been set for resuming peace talks which collapsed in 2017.

Aleem Siddique, spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping force on the island, said there were hopes “they’re going to resume negotiations soon”.

He saw events such as the football match — which was goalless at full time — as a key part in the broader peace efforts.

“It is important in helping to overcome mistrust, lack of understanding on this divided island and bring them closer together and create conducive conditions for the peace process,” he told AFP.

PSG slam Evra homophobic comments


Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain have condemned the behaviour and comments of Patrice Evra as a social media spat turned nasty with the former France captain calling the Parisians “a bunch of queers”.

Tensions began to mount when Evra posted a video on Instagram, where he has 5.8 million followers, from PSG’s stadium celebrating Manchester United’s stunning 3-1 away win in the Champions League last 16.

This drew criticism from former PSG player and television pundit Jerome Rothen, who was a France and Monaco teammate of Evra.

Evra responded to Rothen by threatening to “smash his face in”.

The left-back, who played 379 times for Manchester United and 81 times for France, has a history of provocative statements and was the French captain during their infamous strike at the 2010 World Cup.

The French champions released a statement decrying Evra’s behaviour on Tuesday.

“We strongly condemn Patrice Evra’s homophobic insults aimed at us, our representatives and former players on social media,” the statement said.

Inter get suspended stand closure for Kessie racist abuse


Milan (AFP) – Inter have been handed a suspended stand closure on Monday for racist abuse by their fans towards AC Milan’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie during last weekend’s city derby.

The Italian football federation’s sports judge said three officials in different parts of the stadium twice heard the “racist chants” directed at Kessie after seven and 39 minutes from Inter’s Curva Nord (north stand) at the San Siro.

The FIGC said the punishment was suspended for a year “with the warning that if during this period a similar violation will be committed, the suspension will be revoked and the sanction will be added to that imposed for the new violation”.

Inter were forced to play two games behind closed doors earlier this year after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was targeted by monkey noises and racist chants during a Serie A match on December 26.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti also received a warning after he was sent to the stands for dissent during his side’s 3-2 win which moved them to third in Serie A at the expense of Milan who dropped to fourth.

AC Milan, meanwhile, were fined 10,000 euros ($11,354) after a potentially-dangerous blunt object was thrown onto the pitch.

Torino’s Nigerian wing-back Ola Aina was slapped with a three-game ban and fined 10,000 euros, for his “intimidating attitude towards the referee” during his side’s 3-2 defeat by Bologna.

The on-loan Chelsea player was sent off in added time by referee Maurizio Mariani after picking up his second booking.

“Sorry for the defeat and for the red card, we learn and move on,” Aina posted on Instagram.

Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa was fined 5,000 euros for “blatantly criticising the work of VAR” in a 4-1 defeat by Lazio.