The head of Germany’s football federation (DFB) is furious that their own players Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan were seen posing for pictures alongside Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The midfielders are both of Turkish descent but chose to represent their birth country Germany at international level instead.
Ozil and Gundogan posed for photos in London on Sunday with Erdogan and have left the DFB chief Reinhard Grindel unhappy with their actions.
“The DFB, of course, respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stand for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect,” read a statement from Grindel, as reported on ESPN.
“Therefore, it is not a good thing that our internationals have let themselves be exploited for his election campaign stunt. It certainly hasn’t helped the DFB’s integration efforts.”
Germany team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff was also unhappy over their actions and intends to speak with them at some point in the near future.
“I still have absolutely no doubts about Mesut and Ilkay’s commitment to playing for the Germany national team and how much they identify with our values. They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we cannot endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players,” he said.