Antonio Rudiger will not face punishment for what appeared to be a bite on Paul Pogba in Germany's Euro 2020 opener against France, UEFA has confirmed.
A bizarre incident in the first half of Germany's 1-0 loss to the pre-tournament favorites in Munich saw Chelsea defender Rudiger take what Pogba referred to as a "nibble" on his opponent while also brushing the France midfielder's nipples. No decision was made by referee Carlos del Cerro Grande or his officiating team during the game. European football's governing body subsequently decided not to further investigate Rudiger's actions.
The 28-year-old said after the game that he had not bit his opponent, Rudiger instead describing the moment in suitably surreal fashion, saying that he "should not come close with my mouth to his back".
"It looks unfortunate," Rudiger acknowledged. "Paul and I have talked about it as friends after the final whistle.
"And he stated in our little talk and talking to the press that it was no bite, as some viewers first thought it was. Even during the match, the ref told me that he would have punished me if he thought that it was violent conduct."
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The decision will naturally be a relief to Rudiger and Germany, who face Portugal in their second group game with the stakes significantly higher following their loss to the French. Pogba may not be too disappointed that Rudiger avoided punishment for the incident.
"With Toni, we are friends," said Pogba. "This was nothing big. I think you saw the TV pictures, this is all over, this belongs to the past, I'm not crying for yellow or red cards for such actions.
"He nibbled, I think, a little bit on me, but we've known each other for a long time. I felt it, I told the referee, he takes the decisions and he took the decision. It's over, I just want to play football.
"He hasn't received any card, I think it's better like this. I don't want him to be suspended because of such a situation. At the end of the match we hugged each other and that's it."
Pogba was at the heart of the game's only goal, his brilliant cross field pass teeing up Lucas Hernandez, whose volleyed cross deflected off Mats Hummels as Germany lost their opening game at the European Championships for the first time in their history.