After a disappointing World Cup campaign and the backlash that followed afterward, Arsenal star, Mesut Ozil, has opted to quit international football with Germany.
Among other things, Ozil says the way he has been treated by the German football association makes him “no longer want to wear the German national team shirt.”
The Arsenal playmaker announced the decision in the third part of a lengthy statement released on his Twitter account on Sunday.
The first part of the lengthy statement explained the reason behind his controversial photograph with Turkey President, Recep Erdogan. The second update criticised how the media and sponsors reacted to the incident.
Quite livid, Ozil also accused the German Football Federation DFB president, Reinhard Grindel, of racism, stating that “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.”
In his final statement, where he confirmed his retirement, Ozil cited racism as one of the reasons for his decision, referencing times where he was abused for his ancestry, including an instance where he was called a “goat-f***er” by a prominent politician.
“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 wrote.
“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 team-mates, 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.”
Between his debut in 2009 and his final appearance in June, Ozil played almost 100 times for Germany, helping them win the World Cup in 2014. He was also voted German best player for five years.