'Patronising' Patrice Evra slammed for applauding female co-star's analysis

Former Manchester United champion Patrice Evra has caused a sexism storm after applauding a women’s football star for her analysis on British television.

The Frenchman Evra, former Sweden player Henrik Larsson and England international Eni Aluko appeared on an ITV panel on Sunday to discuss the upcoming matches, including Costa Rica’s clash with Serbia.

Aluko, a 31-year-old forward who recently moved to Juventus and previously played for Chelsea, analysed Costa Rica’s chances of progressing from the World Cup group stage in Russia.

Referring to the Central American nation’s form since the 2014 tournament, Aluko impressed Larsson and Evra – and that’s when disaster struck.

“That’s very good,” Larsson said.

Host Jacqui Oatley replied: “Oh, it’s good, isn’t it? She’s good.”

As Aluko, who has earned 102 England caps, took the compliment in her stride – “thanks guys, thanks,” she said – Evra began clapping.

The moment that caused a storm in England. Pic: ITV

“Are you going to sit here applauding Eni’s punditry all day?” Oatley asked.

Evra continued: “This is just amazing. I think we should leave, Henrik, because she knows about more football than us! I’m really impressed, you know.”

Social media erupted with complaints about the pair’s comments.

The Guardian reports ITV has had a word to Evra to ensure he is more respectful on future broadcasts.

“It is thought Aluko and Evra seemed to be getting along well afterwards,” the English newspaper wrote.

“The four went directly to another room to record the ITV World Cup podcast in which they interacted frequently including recording a one-on-one segment.

“It is understood Evra pointed out that he meant the clapping to be a compliment but that it was taken the wrong way.”

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The situation echoed recent comments by Aluko, who first appeared on a football program in 2014.

“I think it gets massively forgotten with women commentators and pundits that we grew up watching men’s football,” said.

“There’s a tendency for some male pundits who have done it for years to rock up and take it for granted.

“I can’t afford to do that so that’s why I have to geek out on all the stats and facts and make sure I am not seen as a token woman but that I’m adding to the conversation.”

Serbia won 1-0 thanks to a stunning free kick as Aluko’s concerns over Costa Rica’s attack held true.