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Date : June 15, 2024
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Qatari fans hold up pictures of Mesut Ozil to Germany supporters during World Cup game vs Spain

Qatari fans hold up pictures of Mesut Ozil to Germany supporters during World Cup game vs Spain
Qatari fans hold up pictures of Mesut Ozil to Germany supporters during World Cup game vs Spain
Qatari fans hold up pictures of Mesut Ozil to Germany supporters during World Cup game vs Spain

Football fans in the stands hold portraits of German football player Mesut Ozil during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E football match between Spain and Germany at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 27, 2022. World Cup - Fans Hold Portraits of Mesut Ozil, Al Khor, Qatar - 27 Nov 2022
Fans in Qatar held up photos of Mesut Ozil during Germany’s match against Spain (ABACA/Shutterstock)

Qatari fans hit back at Germany’s World Cup protest by holding up pictures of Mesut Ozil during the match against Spain on Sunday evening.

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.

This gesture was in response to FIFA’s refusal to allow players to wear OneLove armbands at the World Cup, which was viewed as a way of highlighting LGBTQ+ discrimination in Qatar.

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.

AL KHOR, QATAR - NOVEMBER 27: Fans hold photos and posters of Mesut Ozil of Medipol Basaksehir during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Spain and Germany at Al Bayt Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Mohammed Dabbous/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Fans also covered their mouths to mimic Germany’s protest at the World Cup last week (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Spectators hold photo of Forman German international Mesut Ozil on the stands at the end of the World Cup group E soccer match between Spain and Germany, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Fans are accusing Germany of hypocrisy following their treatment of Mesut Ozil in 2018 (AP)

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.’

People on the stands hold portraits of German football player Mesut Ozil during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E football match between Spain and Germany at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 27, 2022. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Germany’s players could clearly see the Mesut Ozil pictures from the pitch (AFP via Getty)
Germany v Japan: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Germany’s players staged a protest before their World Cup opener last week (GES Sportfoto/Getty)

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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