The Man Utd ace and devout muslim, 28, becomes the latest star to snub a competition sponsor after he was filmed removing a non-alcoholic beer from his table before speaking to press.
France star Paul Pogba opted to remove a bottle of Heineken beer from his table at a press conference following his country’s win over Germany at Euro 2020.
It comes a day after Cristiano Ronaldo had done the same with two bottles of Coca-Cola prior to Portugal’s 3-0 victory over Hungary.
Pogba, a devout Muslim, took the bottle of Heineken and placed it on the floor before speaking to the press on Tuesday. Drinking alcohol is forbidden in Islam.
The bottle Pogba removed was a nonalcoholic Heineken. It’s unclear whether he knew that at the time, as the drink’s branding is similar to that of regular Heineken.
Pogba made no remark as he moved the Heineken, unlike Ronaldo, who scoffed as he removed the Coca-Cola bottles from his table on Monday.
The Juventus forward, who is known for his strict diet, said, “Coca-Cola, ugh” in apparent disgust, choosing instead to drink from a bottle of water.
Markets Insider reported on Wednesday morning that the 36-year-old’s stunt coincided with Coca-Cola’s shares dipping in value by 1.6%, which equated to a market-value drop of about $4 billion.
Coca-Cola responded to Ronaldo in a statement on Tuesday, saying, “Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences.”
Pogba also had two bottles of Coke in front of him, but he left them untouched.
Pogba, who was voted man of the match as France beat Germany 1-0 courtesy of a calamitous own goal from defender Mats Hummels, converted to Islam in 2019.
“Islam is not the image that everyone sees — terrorism,” Pogba told The London Times’ “Life Times” podcast in 2019. “What we hear in the media is really something else. It’s something beautiful.”
“It made me change, realize things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside,” he added.
Pogba continued: “It’s really a religion that opened my mind and that makes me, maybe, a better person. You think more about the afterlife. This life has a test.
“Islam is just this: respect of the humanity and everything.”
After the Germany game on Tuesday, Pogba accused German defender Antonio Rüdiger of biting him during the match. He said Rüdiger “nibbled” him in a strange incident in the first half.
Video of the moment appears to show Rüdiger placing his open mouth on Pogba’s shoulder.
“He nibbled, I think, a little bit on me. But we have known each other for a long time,” Pogba said