Turkish FA president Demiroren defends Arsenal star Ozil
Turkish FA president Demiroren defends Arsenal star Ozil
Mesut Ozil says he will'no longer be playing for Germany after accusing some German FA officials of racism
24 July, 2018, 19:53
The German Football Association has expressed regret over Mesut Ozil's decision to retire from global football, but denied any allegations of racism towards the Arsenal midfielder.
Former England striker Ian Wright, himself an Arsenal icon, commended Ozil for voicing his concern on the matter, rejecting dismissive attitudes towards players speaking out, saying "you have our full support for speaking out on your experiences and issues that are so much bigger and more important than football".
"I congratulate Mesut Ozil who by leaving the national team has scored the most lovely goal against the virus of fascism", Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has congratulated Mesut Ozil for his "national and native" decision to quit the German national team over what the Arsenal playmaker perceived to be racially-motivated criticism of his World Cup performances.
"I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose", Ozil said.
Ozil ends his global career with 92 caps, 23 goals and 40 assists, and was also a member of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.
And Boateng, who played alongside Ozil in the U21 Germany national team before opting for the Black Stars, expressed his support for the 2014 World Cup victor.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Mesut Ozil
The 29-year-old Arsenal midfielder was criticised after being photographed with Erdogan at a London event in May. "I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don't". "I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my global debut in 2009 has been forgotten".
Recalling the times when he played in Europe, Ozalan said he had also been exposed to racist attacks.
In Ozil's ancestral home town of Devrek in the Zonguldak region on the Turkish Black Sea coast, local authorities have changed a giant picture on "Mesut Ozil Avenue" to show the photograph with Erdogan rather than Ozil in his German kit.
"It wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country", he added.
Fellow players have their say.
"I kiss him on his eyes", Erdogan said, using a Turkish term of affection for a loved one or friend.
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