Manchester United midfielder and 2018 World Cup winner Paul Pogba has refuted claims made by The Sun that he is ready to quit playing for the French national side, as a reaction to comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron against Islam in France.
The story first broke out in the Middle-East – that Pogba would step-aside from the national team. The story was then subsequently picked up by the British tabloid.
Paul Pogba Rejects Claims of French Team Exit
Paul Pogba to Sue The Sun
Pogba, a practising Muslim, took to Instagram to lament his frustration at the claims – which he debunked as “fake news”. The Frenchman shared a screenshot of The Sun’s headline.
The midfielder said that he will take legal action against the British tabloid for its defamatory story. The Sun has since taken down the original story.
In his post on Instagram, Pogba wrote: “So The Sun did [it] again. Absolutely 100% unfounded news about me are going around, stating things I have never said or thought”
“I am appalled, angry, shocked and frustrated some ‘media’ sources use me to make total fake headlines in the sensible subject of French current events and adding my religion and the French National Team to the pot.”
Macron’s Polemical Attack on Islam
The Sun’s report alleged that Pogba was left angry at president Macron’s words, in which he vowed to take on “Islamic separatism”, following the beheading of schoolteacher Samuel Paty – outside his school in a northern Parisian suburb.
Mr Paty had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on free speech. The depictions in question were originally published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The French teacher then became subject to an online hate campaign.
Speaking last Friday, the French president insisted that France would “not give up cartoons” depicting the Prophet Muhammad. President Macron’s words have sparked outrage across the Muslim world – with some countries even declaring boycotts on French products.
Pogba Left Unimpressed
Pogba, however, clearly hurt by The Sun’s story – questioned the paper’s integrity:
“Unfortunately, some press people don’t act responsibly when writing the news, abusing their press freedom, not verifying if what they write/reproduce is true, creating a gossip chain without caring it affects people’s lives and my life.”
Matters on the Pitch
Les Bleus’s next match is against Finland on November 11 – ahead of two crucial Nations League matches against Portugal and Sweden.
Meanwhile, United’s next match is at home against RB Leipzig in the Champions League this Wednesday – looking to build on their impressive win against Paris Saint-Germain.