I can no longer wear the German National Team shirt: Mesut Ozil

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Mesut Ozil said on Sunday that he will not be playing international football for Germany after receiving much critisicm for having his photograph taken with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

Earlier in the day, Ozil released an official statement on Twitter defending his stance over the picture with Turkish President saying it was not politics for him but about “respecting the highest office of my family’s country”.

“My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies,” Ozil said in the official statement.

Six hours after making his stance clear on the controversial photograph, Ozil said that the treatment he has received from DFB (German Football Association) and many others “makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt”.

“I feel unwanted and think 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 federation in the world that has players from dual-heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent.

“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,” Ozil said.

“I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t.”

“This decision has been extremely 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,” Ozil concluded.

Ozil was a part of the German team that crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the group stages, putting up their worst World Cup performance since 1938. This was only the second time in 80 years that they were knocked out in the first round.

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