Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the 'racist attitude' against Mesut Ozil, who he said 'has given everything to the German national team.'
Two days after Germany’s Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from International football and blamed the German football federation for racism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the ‘racist attitude’ against the Arsenal player who he said ‘has given everything to the German national team.’
Ozil became a victim of racial attack after photos of him with Erdogan before the World Cup and Turkish elections went viral. Speaking to Turkish journalists, Erdogan said in Ankara that it is “truly unacceptable that a young man who has given everything to the German national team and has contributed to its success is facing such a racist attitude because of his religion.”
Even the Turkish Football Federation issued a statement, saying it “offers its full support” to Ozil and his family. It also condemned “the treatment, threats and derogatory messages,” asking the football community to stand united against “racism and intolerance.”
Also read: German FA ’emphatically rejects’ Mesut Ozil’s racism accusation
Ozil made his international debut in 2009 and won 92 caps for Germany, netting 23 goals. Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut also called the statements of Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness ‘foolish’. After Ozil announced his retirement, Hoeness had said in an interview to Sport Bild, “I am glad that this scare is now over. He had been playing sh*t for years. He last won a tackle before the 2014 World Cup. And now he and his sh*tty performance hide beyond this picture. Whenever [Bayern] played against Arsenal, we played over him because we knew that was their weak point.”
Dr Sogut said in an interview to Goal.com, “The comments of Mr Hoeness miss the point completely, as they have absolutely nothing to do with football. He is trying to divert attention away from the real issue, the issue of racism and discrimination in Germany, which is resurging once again within everyday German society.”
“As Mesut said in his statement, he accepts reasonable and fair criticism of his football, and deals with that as part of the job. However, Mr Hoeness cannot even provide any actual evidence to back up his foolish statements that are clearly exaggerated. In this case, the stats are clear. Twenty-three goals, 40 assists – which is a German record – and five-time German player of the year – three of which come after 2014.”
Also read: Sania Mirza supports Mesut Ozil’s stance, says ‘racism should not and will not be accepted’
“The facts speak for themselves and anyway who is he to speak about Mesut in this way? These lies are cheap, stereotypical and baseless comments – made without any foundations – that allow hurtful news to spread. Mr Hoeness, we will not waste any more time or energy talking about a subject clearly you know nothing about. Not only is he a disgrace to yourself, but also and more importantly a shame to German football and the people of Germany.”
“Hoeness is no better than the people Mesut mentioned in his statement, as he has purposefully ignored this wider point. And has done so on purpose. Hoeness knows what he is doing. Issuing crazy comments about Mesut’s football, he thinks, it will create a big reaction and will cover the real issue,” he further added.
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