Mumbai: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has come out in support of Germany’s football star Mesut Ozil after he announced his retirement from international football, following the World Cup debacle, citing racism.
Ozil, took to his social media accounts, to put across his decision on Sunday.
Ozil, who has Turkish roots, had been under fire since posing for a controversial photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May which sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany's squad ahead of the tournament in Russia.
In a four-page statement sent out in three images on Twitter and Instagram, an angry Ozil saved his bombshell for the final salvo.
The past couple of weeks have given me time to reflect, and time to think over the events of the last few months. Consequently, I want to share my thoughts and feelings about what has happened. pic.twitter.com/WpWrlHxx74— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 22, 2018
"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.
Ozil also blamed the German Football Federation (DFB) for failing to defend him against his most strident critics.
"Arguably the issue that has frustrated me the most over the past couple of months has been the mistreatment from the DFB, and in particular the DFB President Richard Grindel," he said.
Ozil, 29, said he had been unfairly blamed in Germany for the side's shock first-round defeat at the World Cup.
"I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his (Grindel's) incompetence and inability to do his job properly," he said.
"In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose."
Sania, took to Twitter as she supported, Ozil. Sania tweeted, "This is the saddest thing to read as a an athlete, and more importantly as a human being.. you are right bout one thing @MesutOzil1088 racism should not and will not be accepted under any circumstance.. sad if all this is true.."
This is the saddest thing to read as a an athlete , and more importantly as a human being .. you are right bout one thing @MesutOzil1088 racism should not and will not be accepted under any circumstance.. sad if all this is true .. https://t.co/d1MYyYoDYY— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) July 23, 2018