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Paul Pogba confirms Antonio Rudiger ‘nibbled’ him during France win over Germany

·2-min read
Paul Pogba confirms Antonio Rudiger ‘nibbled’ him during France win over Germany

Paul Pogba accused Antonio Rudiger of "nibbling" him, as France edged out Germany in Munich last night.

In a bizarre incident during the first half, Chelsea defender Rudiger pressed his open mouth against the back of Pogba, who protested in vain to the referee.

Uefa were this morning awaiting full reports from the officials before deciding whether to take any further action, although Pogba does not want Rudiger to be hit with a retrospective ban.

"With Toni, we are friends," said Manchester United star Pogba after the match, which was settled by a Mats Hummels own goal.

"This was nothing big. I think you saw the TV pictures, this is all over, this belongs to the past, I'm not crying for yellow or red cards for 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 the decision. It's over, I just want to play football.

"He hasn't received any card, I think it's better like this. 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."

Rudiger's former Chelsea team-mate, Rob Green, said the German had got away "big time" over the incident. He told BBC Sport: "Toni will do anything to win a game, including something maybe a little untoward. He is trying to get a reaction."

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, was bemused by Rudiger's actions. "When you see that Pogba reaction, it looks like a bite," he said. "I don't really understand what he is trying to do there."

The incident brought back memories of former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Uruguayan was banned for four months and nine international matches after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

Rudiger's 'bite' was far less vicious than Suarez's, but until UEFA make their final decision the defender faces a nervous wait. Germany are still to face Portugal and Hungary in Group F.

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