Mesut Ozil’s decision to retire from international continues to dominate the headlines, with Eintracht Frankfurt chief Fredi Bobic labelling the Arsenal star as “cowardly.”
Germany had a massively disappointing World Cup campaign in which the four time winners were knocked out in the Group Stage, and Ozil announced his decision to quit international duty via social media recently, citing racism and discrimination by sections of the German FA.
However, former Germany striker Bobic has slammed Ozil’s handling of the situation in national newspaper Bild:
“I think that’s a bit cowardly.
“Ozil’s criticism of social media, especially in the direction of the German Football Association (DFB), is unbearable.
“This blanket charge of racism simply does not correspond to reality. He could have given an interview somewhere, live on TV.
“For us footballers, the rule is ‘be a man and stand up.'”
Much of the furore that caused Ozil to step down was caused by his decision to pose for a photo with controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the World Cup, although Bobic is doubtful that the Arsenal playmaker was really oblivious to the storm it would create.
“I would allow that to a player who is 18 or 19 years old, but a player who has been in the business for so long, 29 years old and world champion, needs to know what this looks like,” Bobic said.
“If he does not know that, then he is either totally naive – I cannot imagine that – or it is calculating and he wanted to be provocative, or else he is alienated, of course.
“I understand the two hearts that beat in his chest, but nevertheless, you must know that you have a great responsibility.”