BERLIN — Mesut Özil is quitting Germany’s nationwide soccer staff after receiving intense criticism over his resolution to pose for an image with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
In a collection of statements posted Sunday on Twitter, Özil introduced his retirement from worldwide soccer. He attacked the German federation (generally known as DFB), its president, followers and the information media, criticizing them for what he mentioned was racism and double requirements within the remedy of individuals with Turkish roots.
Citing anti-Turkish feedback from far-right politicians and followers, the 29-year-old Özil mentioned he would “no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect.”
He added: “Racism should never, ever be accepted.”
The picture of Erdogan, Özil and his German teammate Ilkay Gundogan assembly in London prompted an uproar in Germany two months in the past.
At the time, the pinnacle of Germany’s soccer federation, Reinhard Grindel, accused the gamers — whose households got here to Germany from Turkey — of permitting themselves to be “exploited” by Erdogan for political functions. Some German politicians questioned Özil’s and Gundogan’s loyalty to Germany and instructed they need to be faraway from the nationwide squad forward of the World Cup.
Gundogan performed down the image, however Özil refused to remark publicly till Sunday, when he printed a three-part assertion in English defending his actions with Erdogan and attacking those that had criticized him.
“The picture we took had no political intentions,” mentioned Özil, including that it “was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country.”
He additionally talked about German media who had instructed that Özil, a star midfielder for Arsenal, was partly accountable for Germany’s surprising group-stage exit from the World Cup.
“This crosses a personal line that should never be crossed, as newspapers try to turn the nation of Germany against me,” Özil mentioned, noting that there had been little criticism of the previous Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus over his latest assembly with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.
Özil reserved his sharpest phrases for Grindel, nonetheless, alleging that the federation president had been “patronizing” towards him.
“I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly,” Özil mentioned, claiming that Grindel had made “unforgivable and unforgettable” feedback about immigrants and Muslims up to now.
On Twitter, Özil mentioned: “The remedy I’ve obtained from the DFB and lots of others makes me now not wish to put on the German nationwide staff shirt.
“I really feel undesirable and suppose that what I’ve achieved since my worldwide debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”
Özil was a key a part of Germany’s World Cup-winning staff in 2014.