Low breaks silence on Ozil racism claims
Posted: 29 August 2018 Time: 19:00
Germany manager Joachim Low has broken silence over playmaker Mesut Ozil's alleged racism enforced retirement.
Ozil, 29, was made a scapegoat for Germany's shortcomings after their Group Stage exit at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and later announced his international retirement.
However, the Arsenal star claimed the decision was based on the media attacks over his Turkish heritage after being pictured with the countries president before the global showpiece.
Low remained without comment until naming his UEFA Nations League squad today and revealed the player has yet to make contact with him since the media uproar that since followed.
"We underestimated the influence of these pictures with Erdogan. My only thought was to prepare well for the World Cup," Low told the media in the official press conference.
"Mesut Ozil did not even call me. His agent called me instead. I've tried to reach Mesut several times but we did not talk until this day.
"We are disappointed with Ozil’s decision to retire but we have to accept that. However, he was exaggerating a bit when it comes to racism. There was never a single attempt of racism or anything similar in our team."
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff added: "A national player cannot be a target of racist insults, we have to fight that. But we clearly can’t accept accusations. There was never any racism within the team.
"We want to be closer to the players, even when they are not on international duty, including visiting them at home."