EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Patrice Evra faces possible sacking by Marseille and heavy sanctions by Uefa for ‘karate kick’

The results of both disciplinary hearings will be out of Friday, after the 36-year old international aimed a karate kick at one of his own supporters.

Patrice Evra faces his disciplinary destiny on Friday when he could be sacked by Marseille and heavily sanctioned by Uefa for aiming a karate kick at one of his own supporters.

The fiery 36-year-old former Manchester United and Juventus defender was red-carded for his violent reaction to being taunted by Marseille fans during the pre-match warm-up at last week’s Europa League game against Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal.

Marseille and Uefa have both scheduled decisions for Friday with many observers believing that Evra will at least suffer the same punishment handed out to French compatriot Eric Cantona for his flying kick in 1995.

Cantona, playing for Manchester United at Crystal Palace, was banned for eight months by the English FA.

Evra has already been suspended by Marseille while the club’s fanatical supporters insist they do not want the French international to represent them again.

“This Game is Over” said a banner unfurled at the club’s Stade Velodrome home at last weekend’s 5-0 win over Caen.

Another banner read: “We don’t want you in our colours anymore. Evra get lost.” Evra has attempted damage limitation.

“Great result tonight well done guys I’m really proud of you. Thanks to all real Olympique Marseille fans... I’m receiving so much support from them,” Evra wrote on his Instagram account.

Marseille’s American owner Frank McCourt has said that Evra’s moment of madness was “unacceptable” but he also pointed the finger at the fans involved.

“This was unacceptable behaviour, from both the player and the supporters,” McCourt told La Provence newspaper.

“It’s not something that we can tolerate at Marseille, it’s as simple as that.

“It’s a very regrettable incident and it is really a pity to see a great player like Patrice pushed to a point where he behaves like that,” McCourt said.

Hardline Marseille fans insist that Evra is no longer welcome at the club.

“It’s not possible for him to play again at the ‘Vel’,” Michel Tonini, the head of Yankees Virage Nord supporters group and who was at the game in Portugal, told AFP.

“It was insulting, but at Marseille, I have seen players like Rudi Voeller getting stoned – and we were on the way to becoming European champions.

“I have known days when players hid in the boots of cars to escape fans. It’s always been like this at Marseille.”

“It was he who crossed the barriers and said ‘come tell me face to face’. With a gesture like that, you will find someone who will do it.”

Another group, Les Fanatics, said in a statement that Evra must bear all responsibility.

“The only person who committed an act of violence was the one wearing the blue and white shirt,” they said.

“To suggest that fans travelled for 40 hours by bus just to insult one player is as stupid as it is unfounded.”

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.