Ozil quits international football over citing the “racism and disrespect”
Arsenal midfielder, Mesut Ozil has quit international football citing “racism and disrespect” he faced in his national team, Germany.
Ozil said on Sunday he was quitting the German national football team for being critised after he was pictured with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a London event in May.
“It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,” he tweeted.
He says he received hate mail and threats and was being blamed for Germany’s disappointing World Cup.
Ozil who has Turkish roots and was a key member of Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning side, said he feels unwanted in the national team.
“I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t. I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”
The Arsenal midfielder blamed the German Football Federation for failing to defend him against his most strident critics.
“Arguably the issue that has frustrated me the most over the past couple of months has been the mistreatment from the DFB, and in particular the DFB President Richard Grindel,” he said.
Ozil, 29, was part of the Germany squad at the World Cup in Russia and was fiercely criticised as they crashed out at the group stage.
A photograph he posed for with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the tournament led to his loyalty to Joachim Low’s side being questioned.
Germany team boss Oliver Bierhoff suggested Ozil should have been dropped after his failure to clear up the Erdogan meeting.
Ozil, who is of mixed German and Turkish heritage, defended his actions in a lengthy statement issued through his social media accounts on Sunday, the first time he has publicly addressed the matter, saying he and his family had received hate mail, threatening phone calls and social media abuse.
III / III pic.twitter.com/c8aTzYOhWU
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 22, 2018