DFB President Reinhard Grindel said that he was that Mesut Ozil felt deserted. The Arsenal man announced his retirement from international football last month. In his retirement statement, Ozil lambasted DFB and Grindel in particular. He accused Germany’s footballing body of racism.
Grindel said, “Regarding the racist attacks, I could have taken a clearer position at some points and stood by Mesut Ozil. I should have been clear with my words. Such attacks are completely unacceptable. I regret that he felt deserted by the DFB. It is important to say though, that I said nothing about his sporting performance after the World Cup. For me, it was obvious that we win together and lose together. To make an individual player responsible for our exit would be absurd.”
Grindel also expressed his displeasure over Ozil not responding to the controversy over his photograph with Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan. He said, “After the photos with President Erdogan, Ilkay Gundogan clearly and understandably made a statement. I would have liked the same from Ozil, because I know from conversations with fans that they too had questions on the matter. That must not be misinterpreted as criticism of his sporting performance. I would have liked such an explanation even if we ended up winning the World Cup.”