Mesut Ozil announces retirement from international football

Mesut Ozil announces retirement from international football

Mesut Ozil has made his retirement from international football known following a period of “racism and disrespect” from officials and fans.

The Germany midfielder was heavily criticised by some fans for his performances at the World Cup in Russia, as the 2014 winners failed to make it out of the group stage.

The 29-year-old was also panned by the German Football Association (DFB), media and politicians for meeting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside teammate Ilkay Gundogan before the World Cup.

Ozil posted three open letters on social media on Sunday which issued a stern rebuttal of his treatment and finished with his resignation from the Mannschaft setup.

“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.

“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 teammates, 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 now why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted,” Ozil wrote.

The Arsenal man played twice for Germany in their first-round exit from 2018 World Cup.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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