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Rudiger sorry for 'unfortunate' nibble on Pogba

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Holding France midfielder Paul Pogba from behind, Germany defender Antonio Rudiger had appeared to open his mouth and lightly bite his opponent's back.

Pogba reckoned the German had "nibbled" on him - and Rudiger said on Thursday that he regretted the unfortunate look.

The incident happened in Tuesday's European Championship match towards the end of the first half during France's 1-0 win.

"I shouldn't go like that with my mouth to his back - no question - it looks unfortunate," Rudiger said.

"Paul and I spoke very amicably after the final whistle, and he confirmed to me and then again in an interview that it wasn't a bite, like one or other outsiders said at first."

The Germany defender had said before the game that his team would need to be "disgusting" to beat the FIFA World Cup champions.

And then came that moment with Pogba.

"He nibbled, I think, a little bit on me," Pogba said after the game.

"I felt it, I told the referee, and he makes the decisions, and he took a decision. It's over. I just want to play football. He hasn't received any cards. I think it's better like this."

Pogba, whose incisive play from midfield helped France win the match, said the incident was "nothing big" and "belongs to the past."

"I am not crying for cards, you know red cards, because of such actions," Pogba said, adding he and Rudiger were friends and had known each other for a long time.

In 2014, Uruguay forward Luis Suarez was retrospectively banned for nine games by FIFA after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, leaving the Italian with teeth marks on his shoulder.

Rudiger is unlikely to have left any mark on Pogba and UEFA said it was not opening a disciplinary case against the Germany defender.

Neither Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande nor video assistant Juan Martinez Munuera took any action, despite being aware of the incident.

"The referee told me during the game," Rudiger said, "that he would have punished me if he considered it a violent act."

Source AAP