France's star midfielder Paul Pogba has clarified that he will not be quitting the national football team over President Emmanuel Macron's 'Islamist terrorism' statement, contradicting reports on Monday. Reports of Pogba's decision to leave the French team had come after President Macron said that 'monstrosity of Islamist terrorism' must be dealt with strongly. However, Pogba has clarified on Instagram. Macron's comments come against the backdrop of the beheading of Samuel Paty - a school teacher who was killed for showing allegedly communal cartoons to school children.
View this post on Instagram
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 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
According to reports, the 27-year-old World Cup-winning footballer - a practicing Muslim - decided to quit the national side in the wake of widespread outrage over Macron's statement. However, neither Pogba nor the French Football Association had confirmed the star's exit. Reports also suggested that Pogba was upset with the 'offensive' cartoons first published by Charlie Hebdo and the decision of the French government to honour Samuel Paty. Pogba, whose career kicked off in 2013 in France, played a central role in France's 2018 World Cup triumph in Russia even scoring in the final against Croatia.
President Emmanuel Macron labelled the murder of Samuel Paty as an 'Islamist terror attack' and that the Islam terror wanted the country's 'future'. The French President also said that unity and firmness were the only answers to this. Earlier this month, Macron made statements regarding the faith being in crisis all over the world.
The French teacher, Samuel Paty, was decapitated on October 16 after discussing the caricatures of the Prophet with his pupils. He was beheaded by an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee who was later shot dead by the French Police. Two other teenagers have been reportedly charged with complicity in the terrorist murder in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine commune north of Paris. As per reports, the prosecutor has claimed that the 18-year-old had offered students in the school nearly $350 to $415 to identify Paty.
According to an international news agency, France Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has directed the local prefects to order expulsions at a meeting on Sunday. He has also asked his ministry officials to carefully examine the requests of people who wish to attain refugee status in the country. Since the terror attack, Macron's government has been under a lot of pressure from conservative and other political parties to take tough actions on these terrorists as they pose a huge security threat. The government has prepared a list of 231 suspects, out of which over 180 are currently in prison and the remaining 51 will be arrested soon, the report said.