German Football chief accepts mistakes over management of the Mesut Ozil controversy

German football federation’s president, Reinhard Grindel, has admitted mistakes from his part over the controversy caused by Mesut Ozil’s meeting with Turkish President Racep Tayyip Erdogen. Ahead of the World Cup, Ozil and his national teammate Ilkay Gundogan had met with Erdogen, something that irked the German media and fans alike.

It resulted in a severe outburst amongst the fans and the media, as they criticized Ozil for meeting a person whom they considered ‘increasingly authoritarian’.

Germany’s poor showing in the World Cup did not help either, as they were ousted out from the group stages after their defeats against Mexico and South Korea. Ozil apparently created 5.5 goal-scoring chances per ninety minutes, the most by any player who featured in the World Cup. However, he was severely condemned for the team’s poor showing, and this led Ozil to announce his retirement from national duties a week ago.

In a sensational three-page letter, Ozil revealed how felt racially attacked and was particularly critical of Grindel, who had previously remarked that Ozil and Gundogan allowed themselves to be exploited by Erdogen for political purposes. Ozil has Turkish roots, and hence he was understandably sentimentally hurt, something that must have played a major part in his decision to quit national duties.

The Arsenal star made a significant statement when he said, “in the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.'

Grindel has given his personal statement regarding the whole issue and had some interesting words to say. He reportedly said, “In retrospect, I as president should have said unambiguously what is self-evident for me personally and for us all as a federation: Every form of racist hostility is intolerable and unacceptable.'

Ozil’s retriment comes as a major blow to Germany, as the team would look to overturn their disappointing World Cup outings with some positive results hereafter. The former Real Madrid man could have helped the team undergo this transition period smoothly.

However, one is inclined to believe that Grindel’s remarks came excessively late, and it is highly unlikely that Ozil would back off from his decision.

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