Joachim Low has revealed Mesut Ozil has chosen to blank him following his decision to make himself unavailable for inclusion in Germany’s national team.
The Arsenal midfielder, along with Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, were heavily criticised for posing alongside Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a photo, ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Ozil, who is of Turkish descent, chose to retire from international football following his country’s disastrous exit from the World Cup in the group stages, claiming he had been subjected to racist abuse, and stating he was ‘German when we win but … an immigrant when we lose’.
Low insists he has attempted to chat with Ozil, whose claims have been rubbished by his now former international teammates Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos, but to no avail.
“We underestimated the influence of these pictures with Erdogan. My only thought was to prepare well for the World Cup,” said Low.
“Mesut Ozil did not even call me. His agent called me instead. I’ve tried to reach Mesut several times but we did not talk until this day.
“We are disappointed with Ozil’s decision to retire but we have to accept that. However, he was exaggerating a bit when it comes to racism. There was never a single attempt of racism or anything similar in our team.”
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff added: “A national player cannot be a target of racist insults, we have to fight that. But we clearly can’t accept accusations. There was never any racism within the team.
“We want to be closer to the players, even when they are not on international duty, including visiting them at home.”