Mesut Ozil owes Germany fans Erdogan explanation - DFB chief Reinhard Grindel
Mesut Ozil must explain his meeting with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Germany fans, the head of the German football federation, Reinhard Grindel, said.
Ozil and Germany teammate Ilkay Gundogan, who are of Turkish heritage, were criticised by politicians and Grindel for having the picture taken with Erdogan in May and were booed by fans in subsequent matches.
Gundogan later stated the act was not a political statement, but Ozil has yet to speak on the matter, which has not sat well with Grindel.
"It's true that Mesut has not commented yet, which has disappointed many fans because they have questions and expect an answer, and they rightly expect that answer," Grindel told Kicker magazine.
"So it's very clear to me that Mesut, when he returns from vacation, should also publicly give his view.
"We also want to wait and see how Mesut gets involved. It's fair we give a well-deserved international who made a mistake a chance."
Ozil was part of the Germany team that crashed out in the group stage of this summer's World Cup, four years after winning the tournament in Brazil.
Grindel hinted the Arsenal man's silence could play a part in his Germany future, but admitted the matter will be left up to coach Joachim Low.
"It comes down to the athletic analysis of the national coach," Grindel added.
"In fact, I hope that Ozil's opinion is so clear that the questions of the fans and the association are answered."
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff suggested the photo should have disqualified Ozil from the national team -- a sentiment Ozil's father, Mustafa, took stern issue with.
He told Bild: "This statement is insolent. In my opinion, it is aimed at saving one's own skin.
"[Ozil] no longer wants to explain himself, he no longer wants to have to defend himself all the time.
"He has been playing for nine years in the German team ... including becoming world champions. He has contributed a lot for this country. It has always been: if we win, we win together. But when we lose, we lose because of Ozil? He is now getting whistled at and made a scapegoat. I can understand if he feels insulted.
"He needs to decide for himself. But if I were in his place, I'd say 'thanks a lot but that's it!' The hurt has grown too strong. And who knows what'll happen at the next match.
"In Mesut's place, I would step down. But that's just my very personal opinion."
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