Paul Pogba on racism: 'there is only one race, we are all one'

Paul Pogba on racism: 'there is only one race, we are all one'
Paul Pogba on racism: 'there is only one race, we are all one'

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Paul Pogba asked Manchester United players to wear “no to racism” and “we are one” wrist bands during their the warm-up before Thursday’s 4-1 Premier League victory over Newcastle United.

“Basically I was thinking about doing this for a long time,” said Pogba, who also wore a white wristband a year ago in support of Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, who was racially abused at the San Siro. He explained that his actions were in response to incidents involving himself, Koulibaly, Moise Kean, Jesse Lingard, Fred and Antonio Rudiger rather than one incident in particular.

“I remember, when I was younger, about 'Stand Up, Speak Up', something like this,” continued Pogba. “It just reminds me of that. I mean, a lot of players in a lot of leagues – not only in Premier League, in Italy, Spain, everywhere we keep hearing are experiencing this [racism].

“I don’t want to be a president, I don’t want to do politics. We are just football players, we want to enjoy that. The fans needs to enjoy coming and seeing some nice football and that’s it. So, this is to show that we're against that [racism].

“I don't want to go around giving interviews but I know that it will make people talk about the issue. Fred, Andreas (Pereira), I mean everyone, we are against that. We are just for football, enjoying football. We do what we love. We give joy to the fans, to everyone, to all the spectators and that’s all we want to see in the stadium.”

The Frenchman gave his wristband to a fan at the end of the warm-up. No players wore them during the game.

“It was my idea to do that (make the bands),” he said. “I mean, I've been thinking about doing this but I don't want to go through Uefa or Fifa.

"I think we have this power to show things through football, on TV. People see it so I think that will make people understand some things. I think it’s ignorance. So we want to show people that we are all one.”

Asked where the idea came from, Pogba said: “I mean, by hearing things every week. We keep seeing it again and again in a lot of stadiums. It's just to show that, to give support to all the players – I mean, black or white or Chinese or whatever you are. But there is only one race. And just to show respect to everyone. Like I said, we are all one. We all came here to enjoy football, to enjoy ourselves and to do what we love.”

Pogba came on as a substitute in the win and again played well. He’s being eased back from injury and will be needed since Scott McTominay left Old Trafford on crutches with a ligament injury.

Ahead of the Burnley game on Saturday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We might be challengers for a lot more next year, but I still expect a lot from them this year.

“The boys have been told in no uncertain terms what we expect of them – we showed that against Newcastle when we went 1-0 down. We have to show more energy, drive and selflessness in every game.”

The match will be United’s third in six days.

“It is not fair on the boys,” said the Norwegian.

“Having said that, we are probably in the best position to perform because the Newcastle game was over after 45 minutes, so we have a great chance against Burnley. I think that will make it easier for us to recover. It doesn’t make it fair, though, especially when we had the Watford game on Sunday and then Arsenal on New Year’s Day.”

Updated: December 27, 2019 03:58 PM

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