Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, has backed Mesut Ozil’s decision to retire from the German national team.

Speaking to the media, the German keeper said, “If both of them [Ozil and Gundogan] or all of the players performed great at the World Cup we wouldn’t stand here and talk about this.

“It’s the decision of [each individual] player.

“When another player is saying that he wants to [retire] it’s his own decision. You have to search [for] the reasons on your own then and in that case, he has found them.

“We’re accepting this decision of course.

“In the past, other players had quit their career at the national team too after a tournament like the European Championship or the World Cup.”

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 27: The Germany player pose for a team photo prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )
KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 27: The Germany player pose for a team photo prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )

Neur’s comments stand in contrast to others from the German club who have been only too happy to blame Ozil to deflect away from the failings of their own players who made up the majority of the German squad.

Bayern CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge blamed Ozil’s agent for fabricating claims of racism, making himself look, and sound, completely ridiculous while we all know Uli Hoeness’s thoughts on the player.

There are few things worse than being told, as part of a minority, that you are not experiencing the ‘-ism’ that is affecting your life by someone from the group doing the persecuting. Not only does it say your feelings don’t matter, it is a reminder of your place in society as ‘other’ and ‘less than’.

As the German circus around Ozil shows no sign of dying down, Rummenigge decided to add his inflammatory views to a debate which merely highlighted Ozil’s claims of racist treatment even further.

“He was not criticised because he has Turkish heritage,” Rummenigge told Sport Bild. “That is a tale that his agents tell us.

“And that is something that annoys me more and more recently. Nowadays agents do many interviews and statements. Sometimes it is like a fairy tale audition.”

What annoys me, Karl-Heinz, is people who are in no position to experience racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist or xenophobic abuse telling people who are what they are experiencing.

You know what else really annoys me? People who dismiss racism like this.

Mesut Ozil made it perfectly clear how he feels about how he has been treated, using words he was happy to publish. To say that how he feels is a ‘fairy tale’ is insulting and indicative of an institutional problem that only sees issues from a place of privilege.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.