‘Fake news’: Paul Pogba denies quitting France team over Macron comments

Manchester United and France’s Paul Pogba said on October 26, 2020 that reports claiming he had retired from international duty in protest against French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments about radical Islam were “fake news.” (AFP)
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Updated 26 October 2020

‘Fake news’: Paul Pogba denies quitting France team over Macron comments

  • Pogba added that he was taking legal action against the publishers

PARIS: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba on Monday denied media reports that said he quit the France national team over comments made by the country’s President Emmanuel Macron which were perceived to be against Islam.
The French leader this month declared war on “Islamist separatism,” which he believes is taking over some Muslim communities in France.
The Sun newspaper alleged that Pogba, a practicing Muslim, reacted to Macron’s comments by quitting the national team.
“Unacceptable,” the 27-year-old wrote on a Twitter post along with a “fake news” sticker on a screenshot of the headline from The Sun.

“So The Sun did it again,” he added on Instagram. “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 (if) it affects people’s lives and my life.”

Pogba added that he was taking legal action against the publishers.
“We reported on a story that Paul Pogba had taken the decision to quit the French national football team after it was published on a sports website,” The Sun newspaper said in a statement. “The story was also published by The Mirror, Mail Online and other websites.
“Subsequently, Paul Pogba has denied the claim and we have updated our story accordingly. We apologize for any upset caused.”
The report came days after Macron paid tribute to a French history teacher who was beheaded by a radical for using cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression for 13-year-olds.


Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP

Updated 01 December 2020

Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP

  • The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time
  • Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain

World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said Tuesday.
The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.
“But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”
Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.
“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” the team statement said.
The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the race in Bahrain.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” he said soon after the GP. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers’ champion with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on 201 points and Max Verstappen on 189.
The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week.