Fans React To Paul Pogba’s Four-Year Ban From Football

  • I’m ‘sad, shocked and heartbroken’ – Pogba
  • Takes appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sports 
  • Pundits lament ‘wasted career’

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – Football fans and pundits have described the four year ban slammed on French international and former Manchester United ace, Paul Pogba as an “unfortunate and horrible waste of a career”.

The player whom they considered as ‘one of the most talented mid-fielders in world football’, was sanctioned after testing positive for Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in August 2023.

A four-year ban from football and sports related activities is the standard length under the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA)

Reports said the 30-year-old World Cup winner tested positive for testosterone after Juventus’ first game of the season against Udinese in the Italian Serie A.

Italy’s National Anti-Doping Tribunal (TNA) accepted the request of the Anti-Doping Prosecutor’s Office to hand out the sanction which commences from when the player first tested positive. That means Pogba, who turns 31 next month, won’t participate in Association football until August 2027 when he will be almost 35 years old.

But the Juventus midfielder released a statement later on Thursday confirming his resolve to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, adding that the full story would be told “when I am free of legal restrictions”.

The statement said; “I have today been informed of the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping’s decision and believe that the verdict is incorrect.

“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me.

“When I am free of legal restrictions, the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations.

“As a professional athlete, I would never do anything to enhance my performance by using banned substances and have never disrespected or cheated fellow athletes and supporters of any of the teams I have played for, or against.

“As a consequence of the decision announced today, I will appeal this before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

However, there are indications that WADA, on its part, may also appeal against any ruling from the CAS if they were to uphold Pogba’s appeal – and a final judgement could end up at the Swiss federal courts.

For now, the Old Ladies of Italian football (Juventus) are still mute in their decision not to comment on the latest ruling on Pogba.

Meanwhile, many pundits argue that given his potential and excellent skill sets, the former Manchester United academy star was always destined to be in the headlines as a player. However, what soccer aficionados never expected was that he would find himself in this unfortunate situation.

The effervescent play maker was at some stage in his career regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. His first spell at Juventus after leaving Old Trafford for the first time was quite electrifying.

In the process, Pogba made his way into the FIFA World XI at just 21 years old being destined for the stars.

Regrettably, a once blossoming and impressive career seems to have ended in grand shame. No thanks to his excesses and combative disposition as a top-rated star in the round leather game.

Expectedly, some Manchester United fans quickly took to the X platform (formerly Twitter) to express their concerns and views about the disgraced French midfielder:

One of the fans wrote; “What a horrible waste of a career. He could have sat at the same table as Xavi, Zidane, Scholes, Gerrard, and Yaya Toure. But he couldn’t take it seriously. As a United fan, I’m gutted for how his career has ended”.

Another fan said; “He had the talent of all the world in his feet, but the mindset of bad man”.

‘What a waste of talent!’ and ‘One of the most talented midfielders ever, wasted’, another one wrote.

‘He wasted a good career. I’m sad,’ another adds.

The popular football pundit, Mark Goldbridge capped it off as he wrote; “Sad about Pogba. So much potential to be a great.’

With this latest saga, Pogba will now go down in history for all the wrong reasons. Many would readily agree that he had a good career, because a World Cup winner is by no means a failure.

No doubt, his name will always be associated with wasted potential and there seems a consensus among football experts that he could have been an all-time great, but instead, his attitude towards football got in the way.

It is indeed sad to assume that Pogba may have played his last real game as a competitive football player. – With agencies’ reports

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