Turkish President Erdogan comes to Ozil's defence

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has come to the defence of former Germany star Mesut Ozil, saying Germany's treatment of the midfielder was "unacceptable".

Ozil and Erdogan

Source: Getty Images

Ozil announced his shock international retirement on Monday via an emotional three-part statement, where he claimed he was being made a scapegoat for Germany's disastrous 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign due to his controversial meeting with Erdogan just before the tournament

"Such racist treatment towards a young man who has given his all to the German national team for his religious beliefs is unacceptable," Erdogan told reporters in parliament.

He said he spoke to Ozil on Monday night and described his approach as "beyond any form of admiration", adding that Ozil's critics "could not stomach" the photograph of the football star and Erdogan that prompted criticism ahead of the World Cup.

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The Arsenal star, who has Turkish heritage, explained on Sunday his meeting with controversial figure Erdogan 'had no political intentions'.

Ozil's lengthy letter also saw him make inflammatory accusations against German politicians and some fans, as he elaborated on how he felt his Turkish roots had been disrespected, treatment he felt amounted to 'racism'.


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Published 24 July 2018 at 9:44pm
Source: Reuters