Previous
Sweden
South Korea
1
0
FT
Match 12
Game Details
Belgium
Panama
3
0
FT
Match 13
Game Details
Tunisia
England
1
2
FT
Match 14
Game Details
Colombia
Japan
3:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
Match 16
Game Details
Poland
Senegal
12:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
Match 15
Game Details
Russia
Egypt
6:00 PM UTC Jun 19, 2018
Match 17
Game Details
Next

Should Neuer have been Germany's No. 1?

World Cup
Read
GermanyGermany
MexicoMexico
0
1
FT
Match 11
Game Details

Germany's Ilkay Gundogan: Erdogan photo controversy difficult for me, Mesut Ozil

A disappointed Joachim Low outlines how Germany's error-ridden display against Austria affects their World Cup preparations.
Ross Dyer and Steve Nicol focus in on Leroy Sane's omission from Germany's squad as they assess the best XI of players left out of the World Cup.
ESPN FC's Paul Mariner thinks Joachim Low's decision to leave Leroy Sane out of the Germany squad is surprising, and points to the team's overall strength.
Germany's Joachim Low delivers the news and later clarifies his decision to omit Leroy Sane from his 23-man World Cup squad.

Ilkay Gundogan has said he "honours German values 100 percent" after he and Mesut Ozil were criticised for having their photographs taken with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.

Manchester City's Gundogan and Arsenal's Ozil -- both born in the German city of Gelsenkirchen but of Turkish descent -- posed for photos during Erdogan's visit to London.

The Germany internationals' actions drew criticism from politicians and Reinhard Grindel, the head of the Germany football federation (DFB).

Gundogan and Ozil, who met German chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Germany's pre-World Cup training camp in Italy, were whistled by sections of the travelling support during the friendly defeat in Austria last weekend.

And on Tuesday, Gundogan told ARD and ZDF TV that he and Ozil had been through a tough period since the controversy broke.

"A lot of things rained down on Mesut and me in the past two weeks. It continues to be a difficult situation for us. It's still on our minds, on my mind," he said.

"That's why it hurts when there are accusations like that we are not integrated [into German society] or that we don't live by German values.

"I believe we both have done a lot for it, have tried to be role-models, be respectful, be tolerant. Those two weeks were incredibly difficult.

"It's still not over. You could all hear the whistles at us in the last match. It's never nice. Not for me, not for my teammates. It's not an easy situation to cope with."

Gundogan again stressed that meeting Erdogan "was never intended as a political statement" and added: "We honour German values 100 percent."

On Friday, Germany host Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen before beginning their World Cup defence against Mexico on June 17.

And Gundogan said he was aware that he could face a hostile reception from sections of Germany's support in Russia.

"I don't expect that all people will understand me. I am prepared for everything. They can do what they want. They can whistle at me, they can insult me.

"Sure thing, it's not easy to focus on football 100 percent, but I try to shift the focus on it now."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.