Monday 24 September 2018

Toni Kroos hits out at Mesut Ozil over 'nonsense' accusations of racism in German football

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JULY 07: Toni Kroos (R) of Germany stretches during the German national team training at Estadio Mineirao on July 7, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JULY 07: Toni Kroos (R) of Germany stretches during the German national team training at Estadio Mineirao on July 7, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Toni Kroos has hit out at his former international team-mate Mesut Ozil, after he called time his career with the national team and claimed racism existed within German football.

The Turkish-born midfielder came under fire after his limp performance in the World Cup finals this summer, with his decision to quit coming after a media storm in Germany following his decision to pose for a photo with controversial Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan.

Ozil was jeered by sections of the German crowd in warm-up games ahead of the World Cup following the release of the photograph, with his retirement statement suggesting he believes racism was a big issue at the top of German football.

"I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten," declared the Arsenal midfielder.

"People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has players from dual-heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent.

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect."

His team-mates were reluctant to comment on his decision to walk away from the international game, but now Real Madrid midfielder Kroos has offered up a strong rebuke of the accusations made by Ozil.

"Basically Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure, but the way he resigned was not in order," Kroos told Bild.

"The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense. I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist."

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