Mesut Ozil quits international football

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Mesut Ozil said Sunday he was quitting the German national football team, citing “racism” in the criticism of him in the side’s World Cup debacle.

“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 on Twitter.

Ozil, who has Turkish roots, had earlier defended his decision to pose for a photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May which sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany’s squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia.