Mesut Ozil's agent blasts Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos over racism claims
Mesut Ozil's agent Erkut Sogut has hit out at Germany internationals Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos, calling their response to the Arsenal star's withdrawal from the national team "either naive or scheming."
The Germany internationals had commented on Ozil's decision to retire from international football in the wake of the controversy surrounding a photo taken with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May.
Citing racism at the top of the German FA and in parts of the German society, Ozil announced his retirement over three statements published on social media in July, weeks after the national team left the World Cup after the group stages.
Madrid midfielder Kroos told Bild that the statement included a lot of nonsense, while Neuer said in his comments that Germany players must be "proud" again and Muller said "there can be no talk of racism in sports and in the national team."
"Neuer indirectly accuses Ozil of not having worn the Germany jersey with pride. That's unacceptable," Sogut told 11 Freunde magazine. "Muller did not get the discussion. And Kroos as a seasoned national team player, should explain what he means by 'nonsense.'"
Describing the comments as "disappointing and out of place," Sogut added: "There are only two explanations for the trio's comments: They are either naive or scheming."
Germany coach Joachim Low also denied racism existed within the Germany squad, comments that Sogut also took exception to.
"Low defends himself against an accusation that has never been actually made," Sogut said. "Mesut was not racially insulted by the team, but rather from the midst of German society. And the DFB should have protected him."
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge attacked Ozil following his withdrawal from the national team with the former saying the Arsenal player had been "playing crap for years" and the latter said he was "annoyed" by the "phantom debate which does not originate from racism," adding the Bavarians never considered signing the playmaker.
"If anyone wants to distract here, then it's them," Sogut said. "From the performance of their players [at the World Cup], from evading taxes and not paying taxes on Rolex watches as well as from nepotism in their own club."
"Rummenigge's brother Michael and Hoeness' brother Dieter are player agents. And Michael wanted to poach Mesut a few years ago."