'It was cowardly' - Frankfurt sporting director tears into Mesut Ozil over retirement
Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic has admonished Mesut Ozil as a "coward" for his German national team retirement following 'racist' abuse after a controversial meeting with Turkish leader Erdogan in May.
"I think that's a bit cowardly," Bobic told Bild am Sonntag. "Ozil's criticism of social media, especially in the direction of the German Football Association (DFB), is unbearable.
"This blanket charge of racism simply does not correspond to reality. He could have given an interview somewhere, live on TV. For us footballers, the rule is 'be a man and stand up.'"
Midfielder Ozil, who is of Turkish ancestry, had stated that he believed he was being unfairly singled out for Germany’s poor showing at the World Cup in Russia, in which they were eliminated at the group stages, when calling time on his international career.
The player, 29, said he believed he had been disrespected by the media, who were fickle regarding his stating: "I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose."
Bobic continued: "I would allow that to a player who is 18 or 19 years old, but a player who has been in the business for so long, 29 years old and world champion, needs to know what this looks like."
"If he does not know that, then he is either totally naive - I cannot imagine that - or it is calculating and he wanted to be provocative, or else he is alienated, of course, I understand the two hearts that beat in his chest, but nevertheless, you must know that you have a great responsibility."
In contrast, upon joining up with club side Arsenal, Ozil thanked Gunners fans for their “love” at a pre-season friendly in Singapore.