Paul Pogba has come out speak about his hope that Russia 2018 will not be tarnished by racism towards players and supporters, and begged all fans to focus solely on a footballer’s ability rather than his ethnicity.
The tournament will take place with fears of discriminatory behaviour from fans due to a series of incidents in Russia’s domestic game in recent years.
“When it comes to the World Cup, all those sports teams from all over the world coming [to Russia], I think we won’t hear a lot of racism,” he said.
“I enjoy football and the people who do this, I just want them to understand it’s just a game. Against your team yes, but it’s about respect as well.
“At the end of the day, when you finish a game, you go back home and you’re a normal person, so just respect that.
“You are a sportsman, you are a football player and the colour doesn’t do anything. It is the skill that you do, not the colour.
“Personally, when I look at the footballers like Ronaldinho, [Lionel] Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo whoever I just admire them for what they are doing on the pitch.
“That’s what our eyes should look for.”
“Just by doing great on the pitch — the best answer is on the pitch, with racism and stuff like that,” he said. “If you can play well, score a goal, just for yourself, you know?
“Just keep cool, just enjoy life because you are lucky and blessed to be able to [do] things that a lot of people can’t do.
“Think about the chance we have and enjoy life.
“I hope we can help a lot in football and outside football too. If a young guy, and I am still young, can help the world by showing an example, I will be very happy.”
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