Hegerberg, Messi, Pogba and Ronaldo joined forces with local grassroots players to promote greater inclusion, diversity and accessibility in football to launch UEFA’s new RESPECT campaign.
While in Monaco, The Manchester United midfielder, Pogba told ESPN FC that he hopes players will not be tarnished by racism and is urging fans to focus on footballer’s ability rather than his ethnicity during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Russia’s domestic games have a history of racism, but this summer’s Confederations Cup had no incidents or issues.
Pogba believes that the World Cup can can be free of racist chants saying,
“When it comes to the World Cup, all those sports teams from all over the world coming [to Russia], I think we won’t hear a lot of racism,” he said.
“I enjoy football and the people who do this, I just want them to understand it’s just a game. Against your team yes, but it’s about respect as well.
“At the end of the day, when you finish a game, you go back home and you’re a normal person, so just respect that.
“You are a sportsman, you are a football player and the colour doesn’t do anything. It is the skill that you do, not the colour.
“Personally, when I look at the footballers like Ronaldinho, [Lionel] Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo whoever I just admire them for what they are doing on the pitch.
“That’s what our eyes should look for.”
As for any player that may get taunted by the fans, Pogba suggested this,
“Just by doing great on the pitch — the best answer is on the pitch, with racism and stuff like that,” he said. “If you can play well, score a goal, just for yourself, you know?
“Just keep cool, just enjoy life because you are lucky and blessed to be able to [do] things that a lot of people can’t do.
“Think about the chance we have and enjoy life.
“I hope we can help a lot in football and outside football too. If a young guy, and I am still young, can help the world by showing an example, I will be very happy.”