Mesut Ozil quits Germany over racism and disrespect after World Cup loss

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has quit international football, citing the “racism and disrespect” he has faced in Germany over his Turkish roots.

Mesut Ozil’s withdrawal from the German national team Sunday night came in three stages, just as the former World Cup holders’ premature exit in Russia had done. But parts of his statement contained accusations so explosive that the controversy will certainly not stop there. German FA President Reinhard Grindel — who, Ozil alleges, had made him “a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly,” “disrespected [the player’s] Turkish roots” and “selfishly turned [him] into political propaganda” — will have a tough time clinging to his job amid the political fallout.

The 29-year-old was criticised after being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a London event in May.

He says he received hate mail and threats and was being blamed for Germany’s disappointing World Cup.

“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil said.

German football chiefs have yet to respond to Ozil’s claims.

However Chancellor Angela Merkel “respects” his decision as he has done much for the national side, her spokesperson said on Monday.

The third-generation Turkish-German was born in Gelsenkirchen and was a key member of his country’s 2014 World Cup-winning side.

He has 92 caps and has been voted the national team’s player of the year five times since 2011 by fans.

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