June 16 - France midfielder Paul Pogba removed a Heineken bottle in front of him at a Euro 2020 news conference, a day after Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo removed two Coca-Cola bottles, sparking a furore among football fans.
Pogba, a practising Muslim, moved away the beer bottle when he sat down to speak to the media on Tuesday (June 15) after he was named man of the match in France’s 1-0 Group F win over Germany.
Heineken, one of the official sponsors of Euro 2020, was not immediately available to comment.
Ronaldo, known for his peak levels of fitness, moved the cola bottles aside as he sat down to speak to the media ahead of Tuesday’s Group F opener against Hungary.
The 36-year-old then held up a bottle of water and said “Agua” in Portuguese, making headlines.
The beverage giant’s shares dipped 1.6 per cent on Monday, wiping off about US$4 billion (S$5.3 billion) from the company’s market capitalization, following Ronaldo’s snub.
In a response, Europe’s soccer governing body UEFA said: “Coca-Cola offers a range of drinks to suit different tastes and needs, which are available to players throughout the tournament.”
“This includes waters, isotonic sports drinks and juices, coffee and tea, as well as Coca-Cola.”