Mesut Ozil retires from German international duty

Ozil cites racism and disrespect as reasons why he will no longer represent the German national team

Mesut Ozil retires from German international duty

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July 23rd, 2018

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There are few high-profile players that split opinion as much as Mesut Ozil, with the Arsenal midfielder deciding to retire from international football with immediate effect.

The 29-year-old has amassed 92 caps for the German senior team although his treatment at the hands of the DFB has led the midfielder to call time on representing Die Mannschaft and he will now concentrate on domestic duties instead.

Ozil had a disappointing 2018 World Cup as his German side finished bottom of their group and exited the tournament early. His decision to meet Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier in the summer drew criticism from the German media and the player has had enough.

“For me, having a picture with President Erdoğan wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country,” Özil wrote on Twitter.

“My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. 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 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 players from dual‑heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent. In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose.

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

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