Euro 2020: Officials WON’T place bottles of Heineken in front of Muslim players after Pogba’s stance – Asia Despatch

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Euro 2020 officials will STOP placing bottles of Heineken in front of Muslim players after devout Man United star Paul Pogba moved the sponsor’s drink out of the way following Cristiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub

  • Paul Pogba removed a bottle of Heineken from his press conference last week
  • The France and Manchester United star is a devout Muslim 
  • Now, players and managers will have the choice to object to speaking behind the Heineken brand on religious grounds 
  • Yet UEFA have noted the difference between objecting due to religious grounds and objecting due to personal beliefs with regards to health and diet 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of Coca-Cola and said ‘Drink water!’ before a Euro 2020 press conference as a result of his attitude to a healthy lifestyle  
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Euro 2020 organisers will stop placing bottles of alcohol-free Heineken in front of Muslin players after Paul Pogba removed the tournament sponsor’s drink last week. 

The France and Manchester United star Pogba, who is a devout Muslim, took a bottle out of view as he conducted his post-match press conference following France’s 1-0 win against Germany last Tuesday. 

Now teams, managers and players are being asked beforehand whether they would object to having the bottles of Heineken 0.0 on the podium on religious grounds, as revealed by The Telegraph

Devout Muslim Paul Pogba removed a Heineken bottle during his press conference last week

Devout Muslim Paul Pogba removed a Heineken bottle during his press conference last week

Now, UEFA officials have confirmed that players and managers will have a choice to object to speaking behind the bottles of alcohol-free beer on religious grounds

Now, UEFA officials have confirmed that players and managers will have a choice to object to speaking behind the bottles of alcohol-free beer on religious grounds

Pogba’s stance last week followed Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo removing bottles of Coca-Cola before his side’s opening game against Hungary. 

The world superstar seemed annoyed at the presence of the fizzy drink in shot and put them to side, before shouting ‘Drink Water!’ to the camera. 

He then brandished a water bottle and placed it in front of himself for the remainder of the interview, muttering ‘Coca-Cola’ with noticeable disdain. 

Notably, Muslim and France striker Karim Benzema did not have bottles of Heineken in front of him when speaking to the press yesterday after winning the Star of the Match award – which is sponsored by Heineken – against Portugal. 

Yet the Real Madrid man still spoke in front of advertising hoardings with the sponsor’s name on, as well as the trophy sponsored by Heineken. 

Pogba's move comes after Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of coke at his press conference

Pogba’s move comes after Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of coke at his press conference 

UEFA warned players that they could be fined if they continued to shun sponsors and their drinks at press conferences, in what has been a running sideshow of the European Championships so far.

ISLAM AND ALCOHOL

Consumption of alcohol is forbidden (or known as ‘haram’) among Muslims. 

Muslims abstain from drinking alcohol because the Prophet Muhammad, whom Muslims believe the word of God was revealed in the Qur’an, spoke against it.

The Qur’an says that alcohol’s potential for sin was ‘far greater’ than its benefits. 

Despite the new rules, Europe’s governing body has made it clear that there is a difference between removing alcoholic drinks on religious grounds and shunning fizzy drinks due to personal approaches to health and fitness. 

Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game, is notoriously fastidious about his diet and exercise regime.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Pogba became a Muslim in 2019, describing the decision as making him more ‘peaceful inside’.

‘It’s everything. That’s what makes me thankful for everything,’ Pogba told the Times via MEN of his decision to embrace Islam.

‘It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside.

‘It was a good change in my life because I wasn’t born a Muslim, even if my mum was. I just grew up like that, respect for everyone.

‘Islam is not the image that everyone sees – terrorism… What we hear in the media is really something else, it’s something beautiful.

‘You get to know it. Anybody can find that he feels connected with Islam. It came because I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. We always talk.

Pogba has so far played a starring role for France at the Euros, starting all three matches

Pogba has so far played a starring role for France at the Euros, starting all three matches 

‘I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends and I felt something different. I felt really good.’

Pogba has also visited Mecca, Islam’s place of pilgrimage, with fellow countryman and Chelsea star Kurt Zouma, posting on Instagram: ‘Never forget the important things in life.’

World Cup winner Pogba has played a starring role for France so far at the Euros as they finished top of Group F – they will face Switzerland in the round-of-16 on Monday.   

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