Mesut Özil: Arsenal midfielder leaves German national team citing 'unforgettable and unforgivable racism and disrespect'
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"In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose." Germany and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil, 29, has quit international football following claims of racism. It follows his meeting with controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London this May alongside Germany's poor World Cup performance. These factors led to, "Unprecidented abuse," he argues in a twitter post. Criticised for the meeting with Erdogan, Özil says it's enabled German politicians to make him, "A tool for political propaganda." While German football officials have not responded to his claims, his departure has resulted in mixed reactions across the German political and social landscape. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesperson said she valued him and 'respected' his decision. "It is a warning sign regarding racism," German Justice Minister Katarina Barley tweeted.
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Image rights - Wikimedia commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mesut_%C3%96zil,_Germany_national_football_team_(02).jpg
III / III pic.twitter.com/c8aTzYOhWU— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 22, 2018
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