Germany and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has quit international football with the German National team after he accused the Germany Football Association (DFB) of Racism and disrespect to his Turkish origin.
The 29-year-old Arsenal man who made the announcement in a long four-page Instagram post he put up on Sunday, said it was a painful decision for him, and one that he had to make, after came under heavy criticism for meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in London with his other teammate Ikay Gundogan before the Russia 2018 world cup.
He said despite his numerous awards and charity work in Germany he is still not considered as a German, but rather German-Turkish. A thing he said only applies to him in the German national team with people of due citizenship, just because of his ancestral heritage, and Islamic religion.
Taking to his Instagram page, he praised German coach Joachim Low, teammates in the German National team, English League, La Liga and other, but singled out the German FA President for his role in the whole issue, saying:
“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 continued with:
“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,”
“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.”
German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad”.
“I am German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose.”
“This decision has been extremely difficult to make because I’ve always given everything for my teammates … but when -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.”
“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,”
“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.”
“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.”
92caps, 29goals, and 42 assist….he won the world cup in 2014 in Brazil with Germany and came third at the Euro in 2016 before their woeful performance at the Russian 2018 world cup…