Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Erdogan says treatment of Germany's Ozil racist and unacceptable

Erdogan says treatment of Germany's Ozil racist and unacceptable

And though Matthaus, a World Cup victor with Germany in 1990, said the media coverage around the photograph played its part in Ozil's decision, he believes Germany would be better served going forward without the Arsenal playmaker's services. "I see the football player Mesut Ozil, and he didn't perform like before".

Notable absentees from the voices of support for Ozil came in the form of the German national team players.

Germany's first game after the World Cup debacle is against newly-crowned world champions France in the new Nations League tournament on September 6 in Munich. With the way he has been treated by the DFB and the media in his own country, why would someone as talented as Ozil continue to play for a team who does not respect him?

While not wanting to make public comment on some of Ozil's statements from his Twitter post, the governing body said it "emphatically" rejected any suggestions of racism within the organisation.

Ozil stunned football at the weekend by announcing he planned never to play again for the national team after criticism he deemed to be racist of a meeting with Erdogan two months ago.

However Chancellor Angela Merkel "respects" his decision as he has done much for the national side, her spokesperson said on Monday.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Mesut Ozil
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Mesut Ozil

"Last night I spoke to Mesut".

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at worldwide level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect", Ozil wrote. "Not only is he a disgrace to yourself, but also and more importantly a shame to German football and the people of Germany".

"Whether publicly or not, the player must be protected against messages of discrimination and hatred".

One of German football's legends, former and World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaus, was critical of Ozil, but instead dissected the midfielder's playing career rather than his off-the-field activities, claiming Ozil's performances for Germany had been sub-par for some time and that alone warranted being dropped.

"It wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country", he added. We had one bed, but they would put a mattress on the floor for me to sleep. The 29-year-old's exit from Die Mannschaft was met with a muted response from fellow players.

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