Lille (France): Juventus star Paul Pogba finds himself at the eye of a storm as Euro 2016 hosts France prepare to face Switzerland in their final Group A game in Lille today.
France midfielder Paul Pogba (right) chats with forward Anthony Martial during a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines in Lille, France on Saturday. pic/AFP
Dropped for Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Albania in Marseille, Pogba came on at half-time and helped set up the second goal for Dimtri Payet deep into stoppage time with a trademark crossfield pass.
reaction — an explicit pump of the arm, apparently directed at the press box — caused a scandal. The France players who have faced the press since have done their best to dilute the controversy, Pogba’s midfield colleague N’Golo Kante saying: “I didn’t see this gesture that everyone’s talking about. I was celebrating the second goal.” Centre-back Samuel Umtiti, meanwhile, protested: “I’m not someone who looks at the press.”
With France already assured of a last 16 place, coach Didier Deschamps can expect the matter to be at the top of the agenda when he sits down to address the media .
The Swiss beat Albania 1-0 in their opening game before drawing 1-1 with Romania and require only a point to secure one of the two automatic qualifying positions. Meanwhile, Albania take on Romania in other Group A encounter today.