Mesut Ozil quits German National team citing ‘racism, disrespect’

On Sunday, Mesut Ozil, citing ‘racism’ said that he was quitting the German national football team, after a photo of him with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had drawn flak.

“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 said on Twitter.

Ozil has Turkish roots and had earlier defended his photograph with the Turkish President, which took place in May. The photograph had sparked his loyalty to the German national football team ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

Ozil blamed the German Football Federation (DFB) 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.

Apparently, Grindel and Germany coach Joachim Loew had asked him to give a “joint statement to end all the talk and set the record straight” over the picture with Erdogan.

“Whilst I attempted to explain to Grindel my heritage, ancestry and therefore reasoning behind the photo, he was far more interested in speaking about his own political views and belittling my opinion,” he stated, saying that he had been unfairly blamed for Germany’s shocking defeat in the World Cup.

“I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his (Grindel’s) incompetence and inability to do his job properly,” he said.

Saying that he had not intended to make a political statement through the photograph, he said he was true to both his origins.

“Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey,” he said. “I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish.”

Reportedly, Germany is home to almost three million people of Turkish origin.

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