Rumours that French football star Paul Pogba quitting the international team over President Macron’s anti-Islamic comments have been rubbished by the footballer.
Media outlets today had said Pogba had quit despite the man himself saying last night that he wasn’t giving up international football.
Rumours and fake news spread after President Emmanuel Macron caused anger throughout the Islamic world after saying he backed Islamic cartoons which make fun of the Prophet Mohammed who is a sacred religious figure.
Macron had promised France would not “renounce the caricatures” as the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists – based in Paris – continue to draw and print anti-Islamic propaganda.
Manchester United and France star Paul Pogba, converted to Islam in 2019, and rumours spread that he had quit the French international team in protest.
News outlets reported that this was indeed true despite the player saying the rumours were ‘rubbish.’
Despite him saying this, numerous journalists pounced on the story in search of ad revenue clickbait, using the man’s name and religion to make a quick buck or get their own name into bright lights.
The French player, 27, and the French FA haven’t commented any more on the situation.
With the European Championships next summer, and France looking to win a second consecutive major international tournament, it would have been a huge blow if Pogba decided to hang up his boots.
Didier Deschamps can rest assured, though. Regardless of whether Pogba was disgruntled by Macron’s comments or not, it doesn’t appear to have had any effect on his interest in representing his country in football.
The calls for Pogba to quit the French team comes as the Islamic world have told their followers to boycott anything to do with the country.
Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Kuwait are among Islamic countries to criticise the publication of the caricatures, which originally appeared in France in Charlie Hebdo, sparking a terrorist attack on the satirical newspaper in 2015 that killed 12 people.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also denounced the “suggestions of certain French leaders … that risk submerging French-Muslim relations”.
While condemning “all acts of terror in the name of religion” it attacked the “continued publication of blasphemous cartoons” of the prophet.
Muslims have also been angered by Macron’s comments earlier this month that Islam is “a religion that is in crisis all over the world today”. The comments were made when the French president announced his long-awaited law against “separatism” aimed at combatting radical Islam in France, expected to be presented to the French parliament in December. The influential university-mosque, al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, described Macron’s statement as “racist”.
In Qatar, certain food distribution groups announced they were removing from their shops for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, French cultural week planned at the Qatar University has been postponed because of a “deliberate attack on Islam and its symbols”.
In Kuwait, French cheeses – La Vache Qui Rit and Babybel – have been removed from some stores. About 430 Kuwaiti travel agents have reportedly suspended reservations for flights to France.
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