Germany boss Joachim Low claims there was ‘no hint’ of racism in the team following Mesut Ozil’s decision to retire from international football

29 Aug

Germany manager Joachim Low has claimed Mesut Ozil has refused to return phone calls or answer messages following the Arsenal player’s decision to retire from international football.

Low has also accused Ozil of “exaggerating” his claims of racism by the DFB (German Football Association).

Ozil feels he was scapegoated for Germany’s failures in Russia

Ozil called time on playing for his country shortly after Germany’s woeful World Cup campaign earlier this summer.

Their preparations for the tournament were marred by the furore over Ozil posing in a picture with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was also pictured next to the controversial leader.

And Ozil claimed this episode led to him suffering from “racism and disrespect” because of his Turkish roots.

Speaking publicly about the matter for the first time, Low said:  “The player has not called me. In the past that was the case when players retired [from the national team].

Low says Ozil has not been responding to his calls since the midfielder announced his international retirement

“Mesut decided on a different path. I repeatedly tried reaching him via message or phone but that was not possible. I have to accept that.

“My only intention was to prepare best for the World Cup.

“This issue also cost us energy because it was always there. It is of course no excuse for our performance. That was not the reason.

“His claims of racism are exaggerated. Nowhere within my team during my time here, there has been not even a hint of racism. I underestimated the case.”