Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has reportedly quit the French national team, following remarks by President Emmanuel Macron, alleging that Islam is the source of international terrorism.
Pogba has not confirmed this report on his social media accounts, but trending reports are quoting Middle Eastern news sources.
Macron was said to have drawn Pogba’s ire following French government’s decision to honour the teacher, Samuel Paty, who had published images of the Prophet Muhammed.
Paty, 47, was attacked on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 kilometres northwest of Paris. He was beheaded by his attacker.
He was awarded the French Legion d’honneur, the highest decoration bestowed by the French state, in recognition of the fact that he died trying to explain the importance of freedom of speech.
Macron described the murder as an ‘Islamic terrorist attack’ that took the life of the French teacher and later added: ‘Unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.’
Pogba’s resignation was published on Sunday in the Arabic sports website, which said that the decision to give the teacher the Legion d’honneur and the comments were the motivation for his decision to stop playing as a French international.
It said Pogba considered the decision as an insult to him and to French Muslims, especially since Islam is the second religion in France after Christianity.