France star Paul Pogba rubbishes international retirement rumours as 'fake news'
'Unacceptable, fake news,' Pogba, a converted Muslim, posted on Instagram with a screenshot of the article that reported his retirement.
London: Manchester United's Paul Pogba said on Monday reports claiming he had retired from international duty in protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's comments about radical Islam were "fake news".
According to reports in the Middle East picked up by British tabloid The Sun, World Cup winner Pogba wanted to end his international career after Macron vowed to take the fight to Islamic radicals after the 16 October beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty.
"Unacceptable, fake news," Pogba, a converted Muslim, posted on Instagram with a screenshot of The Sun's article.
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So The Sun did it again... 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 and my religion 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! #fakenews #AllezLesBleus @emmanuelmacron @equipedefrance
Paty had shown cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to pupils in a class discussion on free speech in a school near Paris.
Macron's comments triggered protests in Muslim-majority countries at the weekend, with people burning pictures of Macron in Syria and setting fire to French flags in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Pogba won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, with Les Bleus' next fixture a friendly with Finland on 11 November ahead of Nations League meetings with Portugal and Sweden.
United's next match is Wednesday's Champions League group game against RB Leipzig at Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old England international sustained an ACL injury on Tuesday in Chelsea's 4-0 victory over Juventus in a Champions League game at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs have counted the cost of the coronavirus pandemic more than most as it struck shortly after the club opened a new 63,000 capacity stadium at a cost of £1.2 billion.
Italy forward Chiesa played just the first half of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Atalanta and in a statement Juve said that he had picked up a low-grade tear in his left thigh.