German soccer player quits over fans’ racist threats and hate mail after World Cup loss


A German soccer player, Mesut Ozil’s has abruptly quit his team and he will retire, saying that he has been subjected to racism and no longer wants to serve.

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“The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt,” said Ozil according to AlJazeera..

Ozil said he has received hate mail and threats after losing the World Cup.

“I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.

“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. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t … Racism should never, ever be accepted.”

Ozil said he was the victim of harsh racism and was called as “a German when we win, and an immigrant when we lose.”

He shared his thoughts in a letter posted on social media.

Ozil, a Muslim, has been noted as one of the greatest midfielder’s to ever play the game and his retirement caught many by surprise.

Many took to Twitter to launch the hashtag #IStandWithOzil which started trending over the weekend. Fans pointed out the hypocrisy of people who cheer Ozil on when he wins and lash out with derogatory remarks when the team loses.

Twitter user Joey Ayoub made note of the disparity of how people of color are treated and cited when Muslim migrants Mamoudou Gassama was applauded and embraced when he saved a child dangling from a French balcony.

Ayoub tweeted: “If only Ozil had saved a baby from a building while simultaneously being one of their best football players.”

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Another Twitter user Shazad Amin said “structural Islamophobia operates at even the highest level in sport.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she “respects” his decision as he has done much for the national side, her spokesperson said.