Vision1 FM                       Light FM                         Light TV

Mesut Ozil cites 'racism and disrespect' as he quits Germany

Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from international football, hitting out at the "racist" and "disrespectful" treatment he received in the wake of his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Germany's early World Cup exit.



The Arsenal star, who has Turkish ancestry, made the announcement on Sunday in a lengthy statement he posted on his Twitter account.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder, who was part of the German squad that exited the 2018 World Cup at the group stage, felt he was singled out as a scapegoat for the failure due to his Turkish heritage and the Erdogan meeting in May.


"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," Ozil said.

"The treatment I have received from the DFB [German Football Association] and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt," he added.

"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."

Ozil said he could not accept "German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad".

He added: "I am German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose."

Ozil earned 92 caps for Germany since his debut in 2009. He was a key member of the country's 2014 World Cup-winning side.

"This decision has been extremely difficult to make because I've always given everything for my teammates ... but when high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough," he wrote.

"That is not why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever, be accepted."
Ozil met Erdogan in London in May [Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters]

Ozil drew criticism at home after his meeting in Erdogan. He and Ilkay Gundogan - a teammate also of Turkish descent who likewise posed with Erdogan - were jeered in warm-up games before the World Cup in Russia.

In his statement on Sunday, Ozil said if he had not met the Turkish president, he would have been "disrespecting the roots of my ancestors".


"For me having a picture with President Erdogan wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country," he said.

The Arsenal midfielder also said that he was loyal to both his Turkish and German origins and insisted he did not intend to make a political statement.

"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."


Relations between Germany and Turkey have soured amid a crackdown by Erdogan's government on suspected supporters of a failed military coup in July 2016.

"My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies," Ozil said.

"I get that this may be hard to understand, as in most cultures the political leader cannot be thought of as being separate from the person. But in this case it is different. Whatever the outcome would've been in this previous election, or the election before that, I would have still taken the picture."

 


SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

More Politics

Parliament To Investigate Collapse Of Seven Banks Parliament To Investigate Collapse Of Seven Banks 2018-08-16 - The Finance Committee of Parliament will sit from 5-7 September...
AirtelTigo announces new appointments AirtelTigo announces new appointments 2018-08-16 - AirtelTigo has announced the appointment of new executives to...
Don’t step in VR – Asogli Council to Freddie Blay Don’t step in VR – Asogli Council to Freddie Blay 2018-08-16 - The Asogli Traditional Council in the Volta Region has declared...
Spio Lobbies For Mahama Running Mate Spio Lobbies For Mahama Running Mate 2018-08-16 - Even before the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)...
Vice President Bawumia Cuts Sod for Police Housing Project Vice President Bawumia Cuts Sod for Police Housing Project 2018-08-14 - The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has...

More News..

How Capital Bank Blew GH¢620m; The Inside Story How Capital Bank Blew GH¢620m; The Inside Story 2018-08-16 - It has emerged that Capital Bank collapsed because the bank’s...
TTH Attack: Police release arrested Kandahar Boys TTH Attack: Police release arrested Kandahar Boys 2018-08-16 - The police have released four of the Kandahar Boys who were arrested...
JB’s murder: Court to hear committal proceedings on Sept. 19 JB’s murder: Court to hear committal proceedings on Sept. 19 2018-08-15 - The Magistrate Court in Accra is expected to hear the committal...
There’s no $160m judgement debt over Africa Integras project – UG There’s no $160m judgement debt over Africa Integras project – UG 2018-08-15 - The management of the University of Ghana has debunked reports...
I wasn’t responsible for daily operations of Capital Bank – Otabil I wasn’t responsible for daily operations of Capital Bank – Otabil 2018-08-14 - The Board Chairman of defunct Capital Bank, Pastor Mensa Otabil,...