Paul Pogba has dismissed reports he is considering quitting the France national team as ‘fake news’.
French president Emmanuel Macron described the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, 47, as an ‘Islamic terrorist attack’ and said: “Unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.”
Reports in the Middle East claimed Pogba, who converted to Islam and has visited Mecca, had resigned from Les Bleus duty after Macron’s speech on Friday but the Manchester United midfielder has denied the reports.
Pogba posted a picture of an English newspaper’s version of the story – which was not the original source – on his Instagram account and branded it ‘unacceptable’.
The Frenchman then launched into a tirade against the ‘paper: “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 the French National Team to the pot.
“I am against any and all forms of terror and violence. 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
“I am taking legal action against the publishers and spreaders of these 100% Fake News. In a quick shout out to The Sun, who normally could not care less: some of you guys probably went to school and will remember how your teacher said to always check your sources, don’t write without making sure. But hey, seems you did it again and in a very serious topic this time, shame on you!”
Paty was beheaded on his way home from the school he taught at in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, nearly 30 miles outside of Paris and was posthumously awarded the Legion d’Honneur last week.
Pogba made his France debut in 2013 and scored in their World Cup final victory over Croatia in 2018. The 27-year-old also started in the European Championship final defeat to Portugal in 2016.