BERLIN – Germany technical director Oliver Bierhoff has admitted he made mistakes in the scandal surrounding Mesut Ozil’s international retirement last summer.
“Things panned out badly, and I am very sorry about that,” said Bierhoff in an interview published on Wednesday on the website of the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.
Ozil retired from international duty after Germany’s World Cup debacle last June, sparking a bitter debate over racism in German football.
In the build-up to the tournament, the Arsenal midfielder was heavily criticised for appearing in a photograph alongside Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A German of Turkish descent, Ozil’s place in the team was the subject of fierce debate during the tournament, after which he penned an explosive resignation letter accusing the German football federation (DFB) and their president Reinhard Grindel of structural racism.