Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised Mesut Ozil for quitting the national team. Ozil announced his retirement from international football on Sunday, citing racism and disrespect from the DFB. Ozil had posed for a picture with Erdogan which angered many in Germany.
Erdogan said, “Last night I spoke to Mesut. His attitude in the statement is completely patriotic. It is not possible to accept this kind of racist attitude towards a young man who poured so much sweat for the German national team’s success. ”
Germany had a very poor World Cup in Russia as they exited the tournament in the first round. Ozil received plenty of criticism for Germany’s performance. However, in addition to criticism, he was also racially abused by German fans. Ozil himself stated that following Germany’s win over Sweden, a fan racially abused him by referring to his Turkish ancestry.
Ozil’s decision to retire was met by heavy criticism from Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness. Hoeness said that Ozil played dirt for years and that he would not be missed in the national team.