German midfielder, Mesut Ozil has called it quits on his international career with the German national football team after what he termed a “feeling of racism and disrespect.”
“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,” the 29 year-old said in an open letter on social media.
The midfielder has been made singled out as scapegoat following Germany’s shock group stage exit from the World Cup. At first he was criticised for his performance in the loss to Mexico and was dropped for the 2-1 win over Sweden before being re-introduced in the loss to South Korea.
However, it is his picture with the Turkish President – leader of his parents country, that has sparked distasteful comments from the DFB President, Reinhard Grindel and the Arsenal playmaker is having none of it; describing him and others like him as the same with the fan who told him to fuck off and called him a Turkish pig after the win against Sweden.
“I don’t want to even discuss the hate mail, the threatening phone calls and comments on social media that my family and I have received,” he said.
“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 that 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 federations in the World that has many players from dual-heritage families.
“I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement but now I don’t. This decision has been difficult to make because I have always given everything for my teammates, the coaching staff and the good people of Germany. But when high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough. That is not why I play football and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted,” he concluded.