Paul Pogba has played down Antonio Rudiger’s bite after France’s 1-0 victory over Germany at Euro 2020 and has called on UEFA to not suspend the defender over the incident.
France made a good start to their Euro 2020 campaign as Mats Hummel’s first-half own goal sealed a win at the Allianz Arena.
But Rudiger caused controversy just before half-time after he was caught biting Pogba when they were together off the ball.
The Manchester United midfielder complained to the Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande, who took no action, while VAR also did not review the incident.
And Pogba wants the Chelsea centre-back to avoid punishment. He said: ‘In terms of Tony, we’re friends. There was nothing big.
Pogba, who was named man of the match, added: ‘I think you saw the television pictures, this is all over, this belongs to the past, I’m not crying for yellow or red cards because of such actions.
‘He nibbled, I think, a little bit on me, but we’ve known each other for a long time. ‘I felt it, I told the referee, he takes the decisions and he took a decision. It’s over, I just want to play football.
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‘He hasn’t received any card, I think it’s better like this. It was a great match for us, for the fans, for the spectators. I don’t want him to be suspended because of such a situation. At the end of the match we hugged each other and that’s it.’
Speaking at the break, former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane said of the incident: ‘I think it was more of a nibble than a bite. ‘It wasn’t a proper bite but a silly thing to do.’
And, Patrick Vieira, who won the World Cup and European Championship with France, added: ‘When you see that Pogba reaction, it looks like a bite. ‘I don’t really understand what he is trying to do there.’