Paul Pogba is the latest footballer to overtly snub official sponsors after the France star removed a bottle of Heineken placed in front of him at a Euro 2020 press conference.
Pogba, a devout Muslim, was seen moving the beer bottle from the table directly in front of him as he undertook media obligations following France’s opening victory over Germany on Tuesday night.
For Muslims, alcohol is ‘haram’ or forbidden, so the Manchester United star’s removal of the bottle is likely to be due to his unwillingness to endorse the competition’s sponsor.
Paul Pogba has become the latest star to snub a competition sponsor at the Euros this summer
The Frenchman removed a bottle of Heineken from his eyesight during a press conference
Pogba’s stance comes after Cristiano Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola placed in front of him prior to Portugal’s game against Hungary.
The health-obsessed 36-year-old – who has previously revealed that it irritates him when his son drinks fizzy drinks – moved the two bottles away from his chair before shouting in Portuguese: ‘Drink water!’
He then brandished a water bottle and placed it in front of himself for the remainder of the interview, muttering ‘Coca-Cola’ with noticeable disdain.
Pogba, a devout Muslim, took questions after France’s win over Germany on Tuesday night
Pogba became a Muslim in 2019 and has travelled to Mecca, Islam’s holiest place of pilgrimage
Consumption of alcohol is forbidden (or known as ‘haram’) among Muslims.
Muslims abstain from drinking alcohol because the Prophet Muhammad, whom Muslims believe the word of God was revealed in the Qur’an, spoke against it.
The Qur’an says that alcohol’s potential for sin was ‘far greater’ than its benefits.
Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game, is notoriously fastidious about his diet and exercise regime
According to the Manchester Evening News, Pogba became a Muslim in 2019, describing the decision as making him more ‘peaceful inside’.
‘It’s everything. That’s what makes me thankful for everything,’ Pogba told the Times via MEN of his decision to embrace Islam.
‘It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside.
‘It was a good change in my life because I wasn’t born a Muslim, even if my mum was. I just grew up like that, respect for everyone.
‘Islam is not the image that everyone sees – terrorism… What we hear in the media is really something else, it’s something beautiful.
‘You get to know it. Anybody can find that he feels connected with Islam. It came because I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. We always talk.
Pogba’s move comes after Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of coke at his press conference
‘I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends and I felt something different. I felt really good.’
Pogba has also visited Mecca, Islam’s place of pilgrimage, with fellow countryman and Chelsea star Kurt Zouma, posting on Instagram: ‘Never forget the important things in life.’
It remains to be seen whether Heineken will respond to Pogba’s removal of their product from his post-match press conference. In response to Ronaldo’s move, Coca-Cola said that ‘everyone is entitled to their drink preferences’.
World Cup winner Pogba played a starring role in France’s win over Germany to kickstart their Euros campaign. The 28-year-old played an outstanding pass to help split open the German defence and lead to Mats Hummels’ own goal in the first half.
Pogba played a starring role in France’s win over Germany to kickstart their Euros campaign
In bizarre scenes, however, Germany defender Antonio Rudiger appeared to bite Pogba during the two nations’ clash.
Rudiger was caught on camera moving in towards Pogba’s back and then leaning his head forwards.
It then appeared that he tried to sink his teeth through the jersey, leaving his opponent visibly reeling and confused.
Pogba quickly complained to the referee, but with the incident largely going unnoticed until the half-time break, no action was taken.
After the game, Manchester United man Pogba insisted he does not want to see Rudiger punished for the bite.
‘He nibbled a little bit and I felt it so I told the ref,’ said Pogba.
Germany defender Antonio Rudiger looked to bite France midfielder Pogba on Tuesday night
Pogba appealed to the officials after the altercation but no action was taken during the game
This post first appeared on Daily mail
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