Likened to Ronaldo and the Coca-Cola situation, French footballer Paul Pogba has been involved with product placement by removing a bottle of Heineken during an after-match press conference. The move has people asking, is Pogba Muslim and anti-alcohol?
Heineken is one of Euro 2020’s official sponsors.
Is Pogba Muslim?
Yes. Paul Pogba became a devout Muslim in 2019.
Speaking to The Times about becoming a Muslim, Pogba said: “It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside.”
He added: “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.
“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.
“This life has a test. Like when I’m with you, here. Even if you’re not a Muslim, you are a normal human. You have a human relationship and respect you for who you are, what religion you are, what colour and everything.”
Why did the French international remove a Heineken bottle?
Pogba removed the Heineken bottle during a press conference following the 1-0 victory by France over Germany, refusing to endorse the sponsorship.
Alcohol is prohibited for Muslims and, thus, many thought it was a poor idea from tournament officials to place a beer bottle in front of the France international.
Although this particular bottle was alcohol-free, fans believe the footballer didn’t want to be associated with the brand because it is primarily an alcohol business.
Even so, it is currently unclear whether Pogba knew if the beer was alcohol-free or not.
Twitter reacts to moving product placement
Football fans took to Twitter following the press conference to express their opinions.
One fan wrote: “Why would you give Heineken to Pogba knowing that he’s Muslim?”
Another confused user tweeted: “They should have known better.”
Likewise, another wrote: “I don’t think Pogba removing the Heineken was against the brand rather I think it’s because it’s alcoholic and he’s Muslim.”
A similar tweet reads: “Heineken 0.0% is non-halal and Pogba, I believe, is Muslim. So entirely fair and understandable why he would remove this, not wanting to be associated with it.”