Erdogan says treatment of Germany's Ozil racist and unacceptable

Arsenal

And Boateng, who played alongside Ozil in the U21 Germany national team before opting for the Black Stars, expressed his support for the 2014 World Cup victor.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) also offered its "full support to Mesut Ozil and his family".

"I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose", Ozil said.

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza took to Twitter on Monday to voice her support for German footballer Mesut Ozil.

In a lengthy statement posted on social media, he said he did not feel accepted in German society despite paying taxes, donating to good causes there, and being a World Cup victor.

"But for me, it's only important [if] Mesut Ozil can help the national team or not, and I have this feeling in the last one and a half year, he never played on this level how we played before, and now it's time for changes".

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"I think his time to play in the national team is over".

The picture of a smiling Ozil and Erdogan side by side, holding up the team shirt of his English club Arsenal, set off a row in Germany when the photo was snapped in May. "We have so many influences from outside Germany and we say, 'Welcome all the world to Germany.' And Mesut was playing the last 10 years in the national team, Sami Khedira was playing a long time in the national team, [Jerome] Boateng, [Serge] Gnabry - so many influences from outside". Not because of some picture, of of political decision.

The players did meet the German FA president to explain the image, although Ozil had not issued a public statement on the matter until Sunday.

Erdogan is a controversial leader, and the meeting was held just ahead of the Turkish elections-which Erdogan won later to give him sweeping powers-and some in Germany saw that as endorsement of the politician.

In an extensive statement of its own on Monday afternoon - coming after the DFB had spoken to Ozil, who is on a pre-season tour to Singapore with Arsenal - the governing body paid tribute to the midfielder's contribution, but also moved to reject any suggestions of racism.

However, others see Ozil's retirement as no great loss for Germany.

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