PARIS: Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into former France and Manchester United defender Patrice Evra over “homophobic insults” aimed at Paris Saint-Germain, a judicial source told AFP on Monday.
The inquiry follows a complaint lodged last week by two French gay rights groups, Stop Homophobia and Mousse, supported by Red Direct, an association of ex-players of Paris Foot Gay, a former amateur football club.
“This is a great satisfaction for our collective Red Direct,” Julien Pontes, of Red Direct, told AFP, praising “the speed of the reaction of the Paris prosecutor, who decided that the law would apply to Mr. Evra”.
Evra used a French homophobic slur while taunting PSG for their shock Champions League defeat by his former club.
Evra made the comments in a video posted on social media, saying: “Paris, you are queers… Here are the real men doing the talking.”
The 37-year-old defended himself on social media after the incident, saying that “he loved everyone” and was not homophobic.
“The words of Patrice Evra, which contrasted ‘queers’ with ‘real men’, show a homophobia commonplace in the world of football,” Etienne Deshoulieres, a lawyer for the group, said in a statement.
“This is unacceptable from a former France captain. It must be firmly condemned,” he added.
Evra made 81 appearances for his country.