The father of German midfielder, Mesut Ozil has said he would rather the player quits the national team.
Mustapha Ozil said his son was “made the scapegoat” for Die Mannschaft’s shock first-round defeat at the World Cup.
The 29-year-old Arsenal player came under heavy criticism in Germany after the World Champions crashed out in Russia, finishing bottom of their group.
In the run-up to the World Cup, there were controversies over a photograph of the player with Turkey President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was capitalised on to question his loyalty to Germany.
During the week, Germany’s team boss, Oliver Bierhoff sparked a new round of outcry over a statement suggesting Ozil, who has Turkish roots, should have been dropped after his failure to publicly clear the air on his meeting with Erdogan.
Reacting to this, Ozil’s father told Bild “This statement is insolent. In my opinion, it is aimed at saving one’s own skin.”
Mustapha said his son had agreed to have a photograph taken with Erdogan only out of “politeness” and that it was never meant to be a political statement.
He also defended Ozil for having not spoken out to clarify his position.
“He no longer wants to explain himself, he no longer wants to have to defend himself all the time.
“He has been playing for nine years in the German team … including becoming world champions with the A-team.
“He has contributed a lot for this country. It has always been: if we win, we win together.
“But when we lose, we lose because of Ozil? He is now getting whistled at and made a scapegoat . I can understand if he feels insulted,” said the midfielder’s father.
He said the treatment was “so unfair”, adding that, “he needs to decide for himself. But if I were in his place, I’d say – thanks a lot but that’s it!”
“The hurt has grown too strong. And who knows
what’ll happen at the next match. In Mesut’s place, I would step down. But that’s just my very personal opinion,” he said.