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Klopp defends Ozil over criticism for Erdogan photo

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has defended German compatriot Mesut Ozil , saying the criticism the Arsenal midfielder received for being photographed with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was due to “ absolute misinformation ” and “ complete nonsense . ”Ozil also came under fire for his performance at the World Cup in Russia , where the defending champions crashed out in the group stage , as the 29 -year – old quit international soccer last month over “ racism and disrespect , ” due to his Turkish roots .

“ This is a classic example of absolute misinformation and , of course , complete nonsense , ” Klopp told German television channel Sport 1 .

“ In politics, little things have always been blown up and big things pushed away in order to continue .

“ Normally, intelligent people tend to hold back because it is not easy to say the right thing . I would count myself too . All those who have no idea are loud in these conversations . ”

Ozil and international team mate Ilkay Gundogan , who is also of Turkish descent and posed with Erdogan , were subjected to jeers from German fans in warm – up games before the World Cup.

“ I don’ t doubt these guys , at least about their loyalty to our homeland. The difference is that they have one more thing ( in their heritage ) … that ’ s beautiful , ” Klopp , who coached Manchester City’ s Gundogan at their former club Borussia Dortmund , added .

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“ Cultural diversity , we all thought it was cool around the ( Germany -hosted ) 2006 World Cup … now two guys are seduced by politically intelligent people to have a photo , and then have relatively few opportunities to say what they want 100 per cent right.

“ That ’ s why I find this discussion hypocritical . Bad things happened because people were not informed properly .

“ Even the media should not create a buzz around something like this every day . Just cool off and see the people behind it . ”

( Reuters / NAN )

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