In a quite dramatic fashion German International and 2014 World Cup winner Mesut Ozil has thrown the towel on his career with the German National team after a disappointing World Cup in Russia where he received heavy criticism and bad press for his picture with the President of Turkey, Recip Tayyip Erdogan.
Ozil in a statement published on his various social media accounts described how he was treated by the DFB and particularly the DFB President Reinhard Grindel for racial intolerance and bigotry.
“People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has players from dual‑heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent.”
A Turkish immigrant in Germany, Ozil was heavily criticised for taking a picture with Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. He later was heavily vilified by the German public for Germany’s disappointing 2018 World Cup – an easy victim. Ozil in an open letter published on his social media accounts lamented his treatment by some parts of the German society, and that his achievements for Germany have all been forgotten. Stating “I am German when we win and immigrant when we lose.”
One will think that this kind of behaviour is only limited to African immigrants in Europe, however, it appears, it is the general sentiments for all immigrants. Mesut Ozil, a footballer who gained worldwide acclaim at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was instrumental in the Germany team that lifted the World Cup trophy four years later in Brazil.
Ozil added that “when high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me to political propaganda, then enough is enough. That is not why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted.
“My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt.”
Mesut Ozil along with Manchester City and national teammate Ilkay Gundogan took a picture with the much criticised Turkish President and it is yet to be revealed if Gundogan will also follow the same root with Ozil to protest against racism in Germany and German football.
“People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has players from dual‑heritage families.
Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent.