Manchester United star Paul Pogba has reportedly quit from the French national team following president Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments on Islam and terrorism.
The report comes from Arabic sports website 195.sports.com.
Macron condemned the attack on teacher Samuel Paty, 47, who was stabbed and beheaded on his way home from his high school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, around 40 kilometres north west of Paris.
The French president described the incident as an “Islamic terrorist attack”. He also added: “Unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.”
There’s no suggestion Pogba supports the terrorists’ actions, but he allegedly resents Macron’s description of it as an “Islamic” terror attack.
Paty, it has been claimed, was targeted for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his students.
The teacher was posthumously awarded the French Legion d’honneur, the highest order of merit given by the state. It is said this is due to him dying trying to explain the importance of freedom of speech.
Pogba’s reported resignation is allegedly based on the decision to give the teacher the Legion d’honneur and Macron’s above comments.
The Manchester United star reportedly considered the decision as an insult to him and to French Muslims, especially since Islam is the second religion in France after Christianity.
Calls are growing meanwhile around the world for people to boycott French goods in the wake of the president’s comments accusing Muslims of separatism and he pledged not to give up cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
There is zero suggestion Pogba condoned Paty’s killing or Islamist terrorism.
It is worth noting that Pogba uploaded an Instagram story 13 hours ago in which he still said he is a France football player.
Pogba led France to the World Cup in 2018 and even featured in their recent fixtures this month.
The United midfielder has 72 French caps and 10 goals.
Addressing the teacher’s coffin, Macron said: “We will continue this fight for liberty and for reason of which you have now become the face, because we owe it to you. Because in France, sir, the lights will not go out.”
Paul Pogba and Manchester United have both been approached for comment.