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Ozil’s claims of racism in German camp are ‘nonsense’ – Kroos

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Germany midfielder Toni Kroos says Mesut Ozil was ‘ out of order ’ to make accusations of racism within the German set up as he retired from international football last month .
“ Basically Mesut is a long -serving national team player and deserved a better exit as a footballer , ” Kroos, 28 , told German daily Bild .

“ I have played with Mesut for many years and know that he is a nice guy . But the way he retired was out of order .

“ The proportion of his statement which was fair and justified was unfortunately overshadowed by a much higher proportion of nonsense .

“ I think he himself knows that racism does not exist within the national team and the DFB .

“ On the contrary , we are always committed to diversity and integration .

“ Mesut was a good example of that , like many of our team mates . ”

Ozil , 29 , created a furore last month when he retired from international football in an explosive three – part statement in which he accused German FA ( DFB ) president Reinhard Grindel of racism .

“ In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters , I am German when we win , but I am an immigrant when we lose , ” wrote Ozil , sparking a racism storm in Germany and triggering fierce debate about integration .

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Ozil fell offside with German fans and was booed during pre – World Cup friendlies after he and fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May , raising questions about the pair ’ s loyalty to Germany .

Only a handful of Germany players have spoken about the saga , which captain Manuel Neuer described as ‘ stressful ’ while Thomas Mueller said there is “ no question of racism within the team ” .

Head coach Joachim Loew has yet to comment.

– Missed opportunity –

Real Madrid star Kroos says Arsenal midfielder Ozil , who like Gundogan has Turkish roots , was wrong to meet with Erdogan and then wait two months before breaking his silence .

“ Mesut was criticised for the photo – and rightly so, ” said Kroos . “ And he missed the chance to explain himself .

“ Nevertheless , he was completely supported by the coaching staff and the ( national ) team .

“ Later he was – like the rest of us – criticised for the performance at the World Cup .

“ The type of criticism was certainly not always at a good ( justified ) level – but then you have to deal with that as a player . ”

In the first game since their World Cup debacle , Germany , who plummeted to 15 th in the FIFA rankings, will host world champions France , who have claimed top ranking , in Munich on September 6 in the newly – launched Nations League tournament .

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Germany head coach Joachim Loew has promised sweeping changes and Kroos has resisted the urge to retire .

“ Yes , I will continue until Euro 2020 and have set the big goal that we will be far more successful than last time , ” said Kroos .

However , Kroos says the squad Loew selects must find the necessary drive that was so badly missing in Russia .

“ We have to be greedy and more forceful again, as far as goal- scoring is concerned, ” added Kroos.

“ And we have to be more unpleasant to play against in terms of defence – without just defending . ”

( AFP )

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