One by one, the members of the German football have come out with their thoughts on the Mesut Ozil saga with Ilkay Gundogan the latest player stating his opinion.
Gundogan was in the picture with Ozil and Erdogan which was heavily criticised and while he didn’t get as much heat as the Arsenal star, he was also hit by some of the backlash.
Players such as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos have dismissed Ozil’s claims stating that there has been no racism in the German federation.
However, the Manchester City midfielder as asked about Ozil’s treatment and he said he was angered and disappointed by it.
“Was the affair racially motivated? You’re telling me! Is it not racism when a German politician writes on Facebook: ‘The German national football team: 25 Germans and two goat f***ers?'” the midfielder asked.
“That’s something you have to call racism. Nevertheless, that does not mean that all people in Germany are racists – not at all. Almost all my life I have had good experiences in Germany. I want to say that very clearly here. But there are people who have politically used the resulting photo for themselves. And in this context, the line to racism was partially crossed.”
Gundogan also brushed off reports that players of foreign descent formed their own clique within the squad
“Of course there were some jokes here and there about certain Instagram postings. But that is quite normal, that you get up here and there a bit in a positive way,” he added.
“But that was just always meant to be fun and definitely had nothing to do with racism! At the 2014 World Cup, it was ‘Die Mannschaft’ everywhere with 23 very best buddies and now, after a disappointing 2018 World Cup, there is talk of fractured groupings, though they were largely the same players and characters. This is now exaggerated from the outside!
Gundogan added: “In sporting terms, I think Mesut’s resignation is a pity. He did a lot for German football. It’s a loss for the team. Mesut has also done a lot for me personally. He was one of the reasons why I wanted to play for Germany.
“He has paved the way for me. So I would have wished that he would get a better, deserved goodbye. However, one has to say that it was Mesut’s decision to go that way – with all the consequences. I would have done it differently – because I’m different from the personality.
“At the time I wanted to comment on the topic immediately and not let it sit on me. That’s why my idea was to seek an exchange with our Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.”