What Mesut Ozil's retirement says about Germany

Sania Mirza supports Mesut Ozil quitting German football team insists racism should not be accepted

Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Fatau Dauda and compatriot Kevin-Prince Boateng have expressed their support for Mesut Ozil within the fight against racism in football.

When Germany crashed out of the World Cup in Russian Federation after the knock-out stage, Ozil was made a scapegoat by some pundits in a group of senior players who failed to perform.

"In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose", Ozil wrote in his lengthy farewell statement.

The Arsenal playmaker was criticised in Germany for his meeting with Turkish president Recep Erdogan in May during a visit to London.

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Ozil quit Germany after scoring 23 goals in 92 global appearances, having been a key component of the 2014 World Cup-winning side.

"But for me, it's only important [if] Mesut Ozil can help the national team or not, and I have this feeling in the last one and a half year, he never played on this level how we played before, and now it's time for changes". The treatment I have received from the (Germany Football Association) and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt.

Recalling the times when he played in Europe, Ozalan said he had also been exposed to racist attacks. "I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my global debut in 2009 has been forgotten".

"It wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country", he added.

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But Thomas Bareiss, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, said it showed "disrespect" and was "misplaced", while German daily Bild said Ozil was "revelling in the victim role that has nothing to do with reality".

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ozalan from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, said: "I congratulate Mesut Ozil". The 29-year-old's exit from Die Mannschaft was met with a muted response from fellow players.

Ozil, 29, won the World Cup with Germany four years ago, but was also part of Joachim Low's squad which failed to progress from the group stages of the 2018 tournament in Russian Federation.

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