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Arsenal shades DFB, welcomes Ozil


SINGAPORE – JULY 23: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during an Arsenal Training Session at Singapore American School on July 23, 2018 in Singapore. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

After midfielder Mesut Ozil retired from international football on Sunday evening, Arsenal put out a tweet that looked like a subtle dig at the German Football Federation (DFB).

The London club tweeted about how their diversity makes them a special club followed with the word together and the hashtag #ArsenalforEveryone.

Ozil hit out at the mistreatment of the DFB and particularly the President of the DFB, Reinhard Grindel. He stated that he felt disrespected and racially abused in a lengthy three-part statement that ended with the announcement that he was retiring from the German National team.

“People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has players from dual‑heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent. In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose.”

He added: “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,” he wrote. “I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t.”

Much of the events stemmed from a picture he took with President Recep Taayip Erdogan of Turkey, when the president was in London in May. Ozil was also scapegoated and heavily criticized for Germany’s poor performance.

Anti-Racism organisation Kick It Out reached Arsenal to support the 29-year old midfielder in the aftermath of the retirement.

“Mesut Ozil has been treated disgracefully and we have contacted Arsenal to offer our support to him at this time. Those who have driven him to consider international retirement should be ashamed of themselves and his case should encourage all of football to reflect on how the game treats footballers from mixed heritage backgrounds.”

Arsenal earlier tweeted a picture of a smilling Ozil in an Arsenal training gear with the words, “It’s great to have you back with us,” followed with a heart sign.


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