Mesut Ozil Quits Germany Team Over Racism

Playmaker Mesut Ozil has retired from the German national team, as a result of a racism row.

Mesut Ozil was scapegoated in the fallout of Germany’s disappointing group stage elimination from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

As well as that, he has been politicized in the German media by right-wing elements. Mesut Ozil invited controversy by posing for a photo with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before the World Cup.

 

A segment of Mesut Ozil’s statement can be seen below. The full three statements he released can be found on Twitter, @MesutOzil1088.

 

“To you, Reinhard Grindel, I am disappointed but not surprised by your actions. In 2004 whilst you were a German member of Parliament, you claimed that “multiculturalism is in reality a myth [and] a lifelong lie”whilst you voted against legislation for dual-nationalities and punishments for bribery, as well as saying that Islamic culture has become too ingrained in many German cities. This is unforgivable and unforgettable.

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 and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.

People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has many players from dual-heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent.

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.

I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t. This decision has been extremely difficult to make because I have always given everything for my teammates, the coaching staff and the good people of Germany. 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.

That is not why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted.”

 

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