Mesut Ozil is quitting Germany’s national team following criticism over his decision to take for a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In a series of statements uploaded Sunday on Twitter, the Arsenal star declared his retirement from international football. He attacked the German football federation (DFB), its president, fans and also the media, criticizing what he saw as racism and double standards within the treatment of people with Turkish roots.
Citing anti-Turkish comments from right politicians and fans, Ozil said he would “no longer be taking part in for Germany at international level while I even have this sense of racism and disrespect.”
He added: “Racism ought to never, ever be accepted.”
The picture of Erdogan, Ozil and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan meeting in London caused an uproar in Germany 2 months past.
At the time, the top of Germany’s football federation, Reinhard Grindel, publically blame the players — whose families came to Germany from Turkey — of permitting themselves to be “exploited” by Erdogan for political purposes. Some German politicians questioned Ozil and Gundogan’s loyalty to Germany and advised they must be far from the national squad previous to the World Cup.
Gundogan distanced himself from the picture, however, Ozil refused to comment in public till Sunday once revealed a three-part statement in English that defended his actions and attacked people who have criticized him.
“The image we tend to took had no political intentions,” said Ozil, adding that it “was regarding me respecting the very best workplace of my family’s country.”
He additionally took a swipe at German media who advised that the 29-year-old midfielder was partially responsible for Germany’s shock group-stage exit from the World Cup.
“This crosses a private line that should never be crossed, as newspapers try and flip the state of German against me,” Ozil said, noting that there had been very little criticism of former Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus over a recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ozil reserved his sharpest words for Grindel, however, alleging that the federation president had been “patronizing” toward the player, who was a key a part of Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning team.
“I will no longer represent being a victim for his incompetence and inability to try to his job properly,” Ozil aforesaid, claiming that Grindel had created “unforgivable and unforgettable” comments regarding immigrants and Muslims within the past.
On Twitter, Ozil said: “The treatment I actually have received from the DFB and plenty of others makes me no longer wish to wear the German national team shirt.
“I feel unwanted and suppose that what I actually have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”
While Ozil said he had received support from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and national team coach violinist Low, he claimed: “in the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I’m German once we win, however a migrant after we lose.”