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FFF president hopes Pogba does not lose France spot over alleged extortion affair

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French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has professed his hope Paul Pogba will remain in the France squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, amid the midfielder’s ongoing off-field issues.

The playmaker, a World Cup winner under Didier Deschamps at Russia 2018, is sidelined through injury at Juventus, following his return to the Bianconeri after six frustrating years with Manchester United.

But Pogba also has significant concerns away from the pitch, with his lawyers stating he has been the target of an extortion attempt by an organised gang.

The statement came amid claims by the player’s reportedly estranged brother Mathias promising to publish “great revelations” about Pogba’s character.

The affair has overshadowed the build-up to Deschamps announcing his squad for France’s Nations League matches next month, in their final major test ahead of their title defence in Qatar.

Now, FFF president Le Graet has weighed in on the matter, erring on the side of caution as to the claims of extortion, while adding that he hopes for the matter to not sway Deschamps against including Pogba.

“For now, we’re at the start of an affair,” he stated. “Nobody has gone to court for the time being, to the best of my knowledge.

“At this stage, it is only rumours. I love Paul. I hope it doesn’t call into question his place in the France team.”

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