German football star and World Cup winner, Mesut Ozil has decided to call it quits from international football over racism and discrimination following his picture with Turkish President, Recep Erdogan, shortly before the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The Arsenal midfield maestro who is of Turkish descent announced that he is retiring from international football with immediate effect following the ‘unfair treatment he received from the DFB (German Football Federation) following the incident.’
Ozil who said he was saddened by being made the scapegoat following Germany’s disastrous outing at the Mundial, claims he is being unfairly treated by the German football association and that makes him ‘no longer want to wear the German national team shirt.’
Ozil announced the decision in a series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle explaining the reasoning behind his controversial photograph with Turkey president Recep Erdogan and lamented why the media and the German people should see the innocent photograph as what it was not.
Ozil who took a swipe at the DFB president, Reinhard Grindel for his stance following the photograph incident, also lambasted the media, the German fans and even some of the national team sponsors.
A part of the letter reads:
“I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly. I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose. I now feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”
Ozil’s trouble was magnified following Germany’s disastrous World Cup performance where they failed to get out of their group as defending champions and was heavily criticised by the media and the DFB, with Grindel even urging the midfielder to make a public statement on his meeting with Erdogan, as well as questioning his credentials as an international player following the incident.
Ozil has been a mainstay of the German national team for nine years and played at all youth levels before going on to rack up 92 caps for the team, scoring 23 goals. He was part of the side that lifted the 2014 World Cup and also helped Germany to the semi-finals of the 2012 and 2016 European Championships.
Read the tweets here:
The past couple of weeks have given me time to reflect, and time to think over the events of the last few months. Consequently, I want to share my thoughts and feelings about what has happened. pic.twitter.com/WpWrlHxx74
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 22, 2018