Germany's football association otherwise known as DFB has cast off allegations of racism made by Mesut Ozil following his retirement from international duty.
However, the DFB has accepted that it may perhaps have done more to protect Ozil from abuse.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old midfielder announced that he would no longer play for Germany, citing “racism and disrespect” within the country's football association.
Ozil stated that he got hate mail and threats following his photo shoot with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan after Germany's lacklustre World Cup campaign.
The DFB said in a statement which BBC Sport made available that it “regrets the departure of Mesut Ozil from the national team.
“We emphatically reject the DFB being linked to racism.
“The DFB has been very involved in integration work in Germany for many years,” DFB added.
The Arsenal player has won 92 caps for Germany since his debut in 2009, netting 23 goals in the process.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago