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 its shock Champions League defeat by his former club.

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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.