Ozil quits German national team, says he’s tired of racism
Arsenal creative playmaker Mesut Ozil has quit representing Germany national team blaming the German Football Association (DFB) president and the media for his unfortunate decision.
Ozil who has now rejoined with his club for pre-season, issued a three-part lengthy statement on his Twitter account explaining his decision to quit, attacking DFB president Reinhard Grindel and the German media for being racist and frustrating him.
The 29-year-old, who is of Turkish decent but born and raised in Germany, said he could no longer withstand the pressure of being a scapegoat for the for defending World Cup champions’ woes at the just concluded Fifa World Cup in Russia where they failed to reach the last round of 16.
Ozil said he had been heavily criticized for the team’s poor performance at the World Cup but what made it even worse was the picture he took with Turkey president Racep Tayyip Erdogan in London, sometime in May, alongside his fellow Germany teammates Iikay Gundogan also of Turkish descent.
Ozil said the picture with Racep had the Germany media concentrate on questioning his loyalty to German democratic values with DFB president Grindel stating that the sport and his national association defend values which are not sufficiently respected by president Erdogan.
However, Ozil defended his move stating that it would be disrespecting his ancestral roots if he had refused to meet with Erdogan or any other person who could have been the Turkish president by then.
In the statement issued on Sunday, Ozil said he was tired of the blames from the Germany media who have repeatedly blamed his dual heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad.
“The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt. I feel unwanted. I will no longer be playing for German at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,” Ozil said in the statement.
He also said he was tired of DFB president Grindel (a former member of parliament) gimmicks of using him as a channel to advance his political career.
“I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his (Grindel), incompetence and inability to do his job properly. I know he wanted me out the team after the picture and publicized his view on Twitter without any thinking or consultation. In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.
Ozil went on to state that him and his family has received hate emails, threatening phone calls and comments on social media.