Agence France-Presse
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Olivier Giroud has offered his support to “leader” Patrice Evra, who has been banned from all UEFA competitions until June 2018 and sacked by Marseille.

The former France captain was sent off before the French club’s Europa League defeat against Vitoria on November 2, after kung-fu kicking a supporter he claimed was abusing him.

UEFA charged Evra under article 15 of their disciplinary regulations, which deals with the misconduct of players, banning him from their club competitions until June, and following this action his contract with Marseille was terminated with immediate effect.

Giroud, who has played alongside Evra with the French national team since 2011, hopes the 36-year-old can make a quick return to football and says he has “written him a message of support”.

“I hope that he can bounce back,” Giroud said after scoring in his country’s 2-0 win over Wales on Friday.

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“I’ve written him a message to send my support. We had five great years together with the national team and he has always been a leader. It’s difficult to speak of what he did, but it was instinct, something full of emotion. And I don’t understand very well how supporters can come so close to the pitch like that.

“He’s won numerous titles, he’s a great player. I hope he can rebound, rediscover his happiness and finish in a different manner.”

The French national team manager Didier Deschamps has also extended his backing to Evra, a player he worked alongside with at France and Ligue 1 side AS Monaco.

“The decision that has been taken is a tough one, but I’m not here to judge the decision,” Deschamps told reporters.

“If I want to get in touch with Evra I will do that directly, I won’t give a message here. But it’s a difficult situation I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

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