PAUL POGBA has reportedly quit international football after French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments that Islam was the source of international terrorism.
The Manchester United star is said to have made the decision following comments made by the leader of his country on Friday.
And the French government’s decision to honor the teacher who published offensive images of the Prophet Muhammad, which Pogba reportedly deplored, would also be at the root of that decision.
This is according to various Middle East news sources, but neither the 27-year-old nor the French Football Federation have yet commented on the speculation.
United as Pogba’s alleged move comes following the beheading of Professor Samuel Paty, 47, who was attacked on his way home from high school where he was teaching in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 km northwest from Paris.
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Mr. Paty received the French Legion of Honor, the highest decoration awarded by the French state, in recognition of the fact that he died for trying to explain the importance of freedom of expression.
Preisdent Macron described the murder as an “Islamic terrorist attack” which claimed the life of the French teacher.
He later added: “Unity and steadfastness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.”
Pogba’s resignation was posted on the Arab sports site 195sports.com on Sunday, which said the decision to give the teacher the Legion of Honor and the comments prompted his decision to stop playing as French international.
Pogba would have considered this decision an insult to him and to the French Muslims, especially since Islam is the second religion in France after Christianity.
There are growing calls around the world for people to boycott French products following the president’s comments accusing Muslims of separatism and he has pledged not to abandon cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Pogba made his international debut in 2013 and won the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He won 72 caps and scored ten goals for Les Bleus.