Antonio Rudiger faces bite claims after Paul Pogba incident in France vs Germany

Germany defender Antonio Rudiger is facing claims that he bit Paul Pogba during his country’s Euro 2020 opener against France.

The Chelsea centre-back was marking the Manchester United star on the stroke of half-time in the Group F clash in Munich.

But Rudiger, who appeared to be speaking to Pogba while marking him from behind, was then shown by TV cameras to move his mouth towards the shoulder of the World Cup winner.

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Pogba’s reaction was not immediate, but he did point towards his shoulder blades before making match officials aware of the incident.

He continued his conversations with the officials as the two sides were led off at the break, but it was not flagged up by referee Carlos del Cerro Grande nor the VAR team on duty.

Speaking on ITV at half-time, pundits Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Ian Wright were undecided on the full extent of the ‘bite’.

Ex-Arsenal captain Vieira, a World Cup winner in 1998 and European Championship winner in 2000 with France, said: “When you see that Pogba reaction, it looks like a bite.

“I don’t really understand what he is trying to do there.”

Former Manchester United skipper Keane said: “I think it was more of a nibble than a bite. It wasn’t a proper bite but a silly thing to do.”

Wright however insisted Pogba was making a meal of the incident: “He’s not flinched at all. I can’t see it.”

France’s Paul Pogba and Germany’s Antonio Rudiger

Do you think Rudiger bit Pogba? Have your say in the comments.

The incident occurred with Les Bleus leading 1-0 at the Allianz Arena.

Pogba had played his role in the opening goal, a fine outside of the boot pass finding Lucas Hernandez charging into the penalty area, and his driven cross was turned high into his own net by Mats Hummels.

UEFA chiefs will wait for the referees’ report before taking any action, but could well launch an investigation into the altercation between the Premier League pair.

Infamously, after Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, he was banned for four months and fined £66,000, for what was the ex-Liverpool and Barcelona man’s third offence in 18 months.

Rudiger would unlikely face such a strict punishment, but if found guilty one that could potentially end his tournament could come his way.

However, with the footage nothing if not inconclusive, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to prove one way or another.

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