Germany’s football team captain Manuel Neuer has denied that former teammate Mesut Ozil was subjected to racism within the German FA (DFB). However, the 32-year-old goalkeeper also stated that the German players have accepted Ozil’s decision to retire from international football. Earlier, Ozil called time on his career with Die Mannschaft after his meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan caused a massive furor in Germany.
“We’ve always tried to integrate all the players and we’ve also done everything for our teammates to make them feel good going into games,” AFP quoted Neuer as saying.
“There has been a lot of back and forth with much written and said about it. Of course, it was very stressful for those who read about it,” added Neuer.
“It is the decision of each player. You have to look for the reasons for yourself and, in his case, he found them. Of course, we accept this decision,” he further added.
“It is the task of those in charge at the DFB to re-structure the team and to give it a new face. We need to have new players, who are really proud to play for the national team and want to give everything to play for their country. I think that there is a lot going on within the national team and the DFB,” Neuer remarked.
Earlier, Ozil had stated that retires from international football because he faced “racism and disrespect” because of his Turkish roots.
“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote in a lengthy statement in English posted on his Twitter account.
“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,” he added.