Last week, Germany’s players staged a coordinated protest before their World Cup opener against Japan as they covered their mouths for the team photo.
But a group of Qatari fans responded to Germany’s protest on Sunday evening as they held up pictures of Ozil, who quit the German national team in 2018 after being subjected to racist abuse following the nation’s early World Cup exit.
Ozil was also criticised in Germany for meeting with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the tournament.
‘I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,’ Ozil, who was born in Germany to Turkish parents, said after his side’s elimination at the World Cup.
After the tournament, the now former president of Germany’s football federation (DFB) Reinhard Grindel admitted to making mistakes over Ozil’s treatment.
He said: ‘The resignation statement by Mesut Ozil has triggered a debate on racism in general and the ability of football to integrate in particular. As DFB President, I do not want to escape this debate.
‘In hindsight, I, as president, should have unequivocally said what for me and the association is obvious: any form of racial hostility is intolerable.’
Meanwhile, Ilkay Gundogan has suggested Germany will not stage any more protests in Qatar.
‘Honestly, my point of view is, now the politics are finished,’ Gundogan said after Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain.
‘The country of Qatar is very proud to host the World Cup, also the first Muslim country, and I come from a Muslim family. So the Muslim community is proud. So I think now it’s just about football.’
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