Chancellor Angela Merkel “respects” Mesut Ozil’s decision to quit playing football for Germany, her spokeswoman said on Monday, after the midfielder resigned over “racism” in criticism against him.
“The chancellor values Mesut Ozil highly. He is a footballer who has contributed a great deal to the national team,” said Ulrike Demmer, adding that he has “now made a decision that must be respected.”
Mesut Ozil said Sunday he was quitting the German national football team, citing “racism” in the criticism of him in the side’s World Cup debacle. “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,” he said on Twitter.