Paul Pogba makes sponsor beer disappear during Euro 2020 press conference | Euro 2020
French midfielder Paul Pogba has become the latest footballer to challenge official Euro 2020 drinks after removing a bottle of Heineken beer that was placed in front of him at a press conference on Tuesday.
Pogba, a practicing Muslim, moved the bottle of Heineken’s alcohol-free 0.0 brand when he sat down to speak to the media after being named ‘man of the match’ in France’s 1-0 win over the ‘Germany.
It came a day after Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo withdrew two bottles of Coca-Cola at a press conference and held up a water bottle saying “Agua” – Portuguese for water.
This is the latest example of an unexpected focus on tournament sponsors. Before the France-Germany match, a protester from the environmental group Greenpeace parachuted into the stadium to protest Volkswagen as a sponsor of the tournament and demand that the German manufacturer stop the sale of gasoline and diesel cars.
Sponsorship control is a regular feature of major sports tournaments. Previous reviews have focused on the involvement of sponsors such as Coca-Cola and fast food giant McDonald’s. Anti-obesity activists argue that the marketing of products high in sugar or fat is contributing to a global obesity epidemic.
Other campaigns have already highlighted the presence of cigarette companies and betting companies among sports sponsors, although none are present at Euro 2020.
The sponsors of the tournament are Gazprom, the Russian public gas producer, and Qatar Airways.
UEFA, the tournament’s organizer, did not immediately comment on Heineken.
However, after Ronaldo’s comments, UEFA said: “Coca-Cola has a range of drinks to meet different tastes and needs, which are available to players throughout the tournament. This includes waters, isotonic sports drinks and juices, coffee and tea, and Coca-Cola.
“Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, when they arrive at our press conferences. Everyone has the right to their own drink preferences.