The midfielder recently announced his retirement from international football citing discrimination and mistreatment.
As a response, the German football association, DFB, has rejected claims of racism by Ozil; however, they admitted to not doing enough to protect Ozil from abuse post their shocking World Cup elimination from the group stage.
Apparently, Ozil received hate mails and threats post the World Cup exit and comments were made on his loyalty to Germany since a snap of him beside Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, surfaced from an event in London in May, along with his teammate Ilkay Gundogan who was also the recipient of a backlash from the DFB and the German media.
The picture at the root of the controversy
The DFB further released a statement saying, “We emphatically reject the DFB being linked to racism. The DFB has been very involved in integration work in Germany for years.”
Watch: The brilliance for Mesut Ozil for Germany
The statement further added: “It is regrettable that Mesut Ozil felt that he had not been sufficiently protected as a target of racist slogans. The DFB stands for diversity, from the representatives at the top to the boundless day-to-day dedication of the people at the base.”
A comment by Ozil that perfectly sums up his side of the story was that he was a German when they won, but an immigrant when they lost. Ozil was a key member of the World Cup winning German side in 2014 and has been voted as the national team’s player of the year by the fans five times since 2011.
He has received support from players and fans all over the world. Moreover, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has respected his decision owing to his contribution to German football.
However, amidst all the political opinions, the question arises if the players should be protected from any and every sort of racial comment and political criticism. There is no place for politics in sport. Therefore, comments made by the Bayern Munich President, Uli Hoeness suggesting the Arsenal man has been “S*** for years,” are in bad taste and only add fuel to the fire.
The drama is still continuing with polarizing opinions from all sections of German society. But, one thing is for sure, Germany have lost an amazing player in the form of the Arsenal man, who will be hard to replace.