Mesut Ozil will be expected to play a prominent role in Germany’s bid to defend their World Cup crown this summer, but he has seemingly upset the German FA on the eve of the tournament.
The World Cup gets underway in Russia next month, and holders Germany will be expected to be amongst the strongest contenders after lifting the trophy in Brazil four years ago.
However, the last thing that they’ll want is for off-the-field distractions and controversy to take their minds away from the importance of the tournament itself, and that’s just what Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan have seemingly done.
As seen in the images below, the pair were pictured with Turkey president Tayyip Erdogan, who has received criticism and widespread condemnation amid ongoing measures following elections to tighten his grip on control of the country.
Obviously the two Premier League stars have major ties with Turkey given they are of Turkish descent, but the decision to be pictured with Ergodan hasn’t gone down well with German FA chief Reinhard Grindel.
“Football and the DFB stands for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect,” he is quoted as saying by ESPN. “Therefore, it is not a good thing that our internationals have let themselves be exploited for his election campaign stunt. It certainly hasn’t helped the DFB’s integration efforts.”
It’s unlikely to cost them a place in the Germany squad for the World Cup as that would seem harsh, but they’ll certainly have to have a sit down with DFB officials as it clearly hasn’t gone down well with them on the basis of Grindel’s comments.
— Eric Schoeffler (@ericschoeffler) May 14, 2018
Just a month away from the World cup, the Premier League stars have got themselves in trouble. ?
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 14, 2018