SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

‘Scapegoat’ Özil should quit German team, says father

Mesut Özil's father said Sunday his son should quit Germany's national squad after he was made a "scapegoat" for their shock first-round defeat at the World Cup.

'Scapegoat' Özil should quit German team, says father
Mesut Ozil training in Switzerland for the EuroCup in 2016. Photo: DPA

Özil, 29, has come in for sharp criticism in Germany after the holders crashed out in Russia, finishing bottom of their group. Pressure had already been mounting on the Arsenal midfielder in the run-up to the tournament over a controversial photograph with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany.

On Thursday, team boss Oliver Bierhoff suggested that perhaps Germany should have considered dropping Özil, who has Turkish roots, after his failure to explain himself over the issue.

But the midfielder's father, Mustafa Özil, in an interview with Bild am Sonntag, said: “This statement is insolent. In my opinion, it is aimed at saving one's own skin.”

Bierhoff had backtracked on Friday, saying that he “was wrong” to put Özil under undue pressure.

But German Football Federation chief Reinhard Grindel has now waded in, arguing that Özil must go public.

His failure to speak out “has disappointed many fans, because they have questions and expect answers”, Grindel told Kicker magazine in an interview to be published Monday.

“They are rightly expecting this answer. That's why it is absolutely clear to me that for his own interest, Mesut should speak out when he returns from his holidays.”

Özil senior defended his son for not clarifying his position publicly.

“He no longer wants to explain himself, he no longer wants to have to defend himself all the time. He has been playing for nine years in the German team… including becoming world champions with the A-team.

“He has contributed a lot for this country. It has always been: if we win, we win together.

“But when we lose, we lose because of Özil? He is now getting whistled at and made a scapegoat. I can understand if he feels insulted,” said the midfielder's father.

Mesut had agreed to have a photograph taken with Erdogan only out of “politeness” and it was never meant to be a political statement, he added.

Calling his son's treatment “unfair”, Özil senior said “he needs to decide for himself. But if I were in his place, I'd say – thanks a lot but that's it.”

“The hurt has grown too strong. And who knows what'll happen at the next match? In Mesut's place, I would step down. But that's just my very personal opinion,” he said.

Member comments

  1. Why pick on Ozil?

    Trying to decide which German player stunk the worst is like choosing between decomposing corpses and a manure lagoon at a pig farm.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

SHOW COMMENTS