Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba on Monday denied media reports that claimed he had quit the French national team over comments made by the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron.
The comments were perceived to be against Islam.
The French leader this month had declared war on “Islamist separatism”, which he said was taking over some Muslim communities in France.
A newspaper report alleged that Pogba, a Muslim, reacted to Mr Macron’s comments by quitting the national team.
“Unacceptable,” the 27-year-old wrote on a Twitter post along with a “fake news” sticker on a screenshot of the headline.
“So …….. (the newspaper) did it again,” he added. “Absolutely 100 per cent unfounded news about me are going around, stating things I have never said or thought.
“I am appalled, angry, shocked and frustrated some ‘media’ sources use me to make total fake headlines in the sensible subject of French current events and adding the French national team to the pot.
“I am against any and all forms of terror and violence.
“Unfortunately, some press people don’t act responsibly when writing the news, abusing their press freedom, not verifying if what they write/reproduce is true, creating a gossip chain without caring (if) it affects people’s lives and my life.”
Pogba added that he was taking legal action against the publishers.
“We reported on a story that Paul Pogba had taken the decision to quit the French national football team after it was published on a sports website,” the newspaper said in a statement.
“The story was also published by two other newspapers and other websites.
“Subsequently, Paul Pogba has denied the claim and we have updated our story accordingly. We apologise for any upset caused.”
The report came days after Mr Macron paid tribute to a French history teacher who was beheaded by an Islamist radical.
He was beheaded for using cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression for 13-year-olds.