Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect citing racism and disrespect by German officials.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, the midfielder cited unfair discrimination following his meeting with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan.
The two met at an event in May and took a photo which sparked debate about the players’ ancestral roots.
Özil was a member of the Germany squad at the recent World Cup finals in Russia which was hounded out at the group stage.
“It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,” he said in a three-part message posted on his wall.
“I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t. I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”
The 29-year-old, who has been in the face of criticism over the German team’s performance at the World Cup, said: “enough is enough”.
He took a swipe at “high-ranking DFB officials who disrespect his Turkish roots and selfishly turn him into political propaganda.”
II / III pic.twitter.com/Jwqv76jkmd
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 22, 2018
Özil claimed he was racially abused by a supporter after the match against Sweden.
“I don’t want to even discuss the hate mail, threatening phone calls and comments on social media that my family and I have received,” he said.
The player said he is confident that many Germans “who embrace an open society” would agree with his decision.