July 23, 2018 / 1:16 PM / a month ago

German soccer body rejects Ozil's racism accusations

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German Football Association (DFB) on Monday rejected accusations that it was racist after star midfielder Mesut Ozil said on Sunday he would no longer play for the national team because he faced “racism and disrespect” due to his Turkish roots.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group F - South Korea vs Germany - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 27, 2018 Germany's Mesut Ozil looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Michael Dalder

“We emphatically reject the DFB being linked to racism,” the DFB said in a statement. “The DFB has been very involved in integration work in Germany for many years.”

Ozil, who plays for English club Arsenal, said DFB President Reinhard Grindel had blamed him for Germany’s poor performance at this year’s World Cup, considering him a German when the side won and an immigrant when they lost.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; editing by John Stonestreet

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