LONDON - Germany manager Joachim Low has dismissed Mesut Ozil’s accusations of racism at the country’s FA and criticised the Arsenal playmaker’s refusal to take his calls. Ozil quit international football after Germany’s nightmare World Cup campaign.
Low’s side failed to get out of their group in Russia amid unrest after Ozil and Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan — both players of Turkish descent — posed with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a move condemned by the German FA.
Low said: "Mesut made allegations of racism but I can clearly say that in the DFB (German FA) there have never been racist comments. Players with an immigrant background have always enjoyed playing for us and nothing has changed.
"Mesut’s adviser called me to inform me Mesut would issue the statement. The player himself did not call me, which normally players have done in the past. Mesut has still not called me and for the last two weeks I have unsuccessfully tried to reach him. He has chosen this path. I have to accept that."
After the German FA’s criticism of Ozil for meeting Erdogan, who has been accused of human rights abuses, politicians in Germany questioned Ozil’s loyalty to the national team. In a controversial statement announcing his international retirement, the Arsenal star cited the ‘racism and disrespect’ he believes he faced due to his Turkish roots.
Making reference to DFB president Reinhard Grindel, Ozil said: "In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win but an immigrant when we lose. I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat."
Meanwhile, members of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust are refusing to voluntarily sell their shares in the club to Stan Kroenke in an act of defiance against his takeover. Kroenke owns all but 733 of the 62,217 Arsenal shares and will now acquire them through a forced takeover.