Ex-DFB director Bierhoff about Özil: “I’m sorry”

The German national team will face Turkey on Saturday. The homeland of Mesut Özil’s parents. Oliver Bierhoff still regrets what happened to the ex-national player.

Oliver Bierhoff can’t get over it and still regrets the outcome of the Mesut Özil case more than five years later . The former DFB director told the German Press Agency: “I had contact with him once or twice, but only a short greeting via SMS. I’m sorry for how it ended.”

The national team will play this Saturday in Berlin against Turkey, the home country of Özil’s parents. The 2014 world champion resigned loudly after the 2018 World Cup and accused the German Football Association of, among other things, racism.


“Can’t explain his motives”

“I can’t explain his motives,” Bierhoff said. “As German football and as a country, we have done everything to ensure that Mesut can feel comfortable with us. If he now sees things differently, I’m sorry.” The DFB did not plan to invite the former Bundesliga professional to the Turkey game .

The case began in May 2018 with a high-profile photo of Özil, today’s DFB captain İlkay Gündoğan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , which caused a stir even in the highest political circles. A few days later, Özil and Gündoğan spoke to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier . Unlike Özil, Gündoğan dealt with the case openly and explained that the photo was not intended to make a political statement.


“Chapter is closed”

For weeks, the leadership of the German Football Association had massive problems moderating the debate and responding appropriately. The national coach at the time, Joachim Low, took the problem with him to the World Cup in Russia, which ended for Germany after the preliminary round. After the World Cup exit, Özil announced his resignation in July 2018 and turned away from the DFB selection with drastic words.

“The chapter is now closed, of course with great gratitude for his achievements,” said Bierhoff about the former world-class player, who has now ended his career in Turkey. Recently, Özil attracted attention several times with some controversial posts on social media

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