Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

German outrage after football stars pose with Turkish President Erdogan

German outrage after football stars pose with Turkish President Erdogan

The president of the Turkish Football Federation has branded comments made by his German counterpart with regard to a meeting between Germany internationals Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan with Turkish president Recep Erdogan as "unacceptable".

Ozil plays for UK's Premier League club Arsenal and Gundogan for Manchester City.

Erdogan has repeatedly been accused of human rights violations including the jailing of several journalists, particularly in the aftermath of an unsuccessful coup attempt in 2016. He later said it was not the intention of the two players, who have Turkish roots, to make a political statement or be drawn into campaigning for Turkey's elections next month.

Grindel initially waded into the argument on Monday, after pictures of the players presenting a shirt to Erdogan first appeared, with the DFB chairman insisting: "The DFB stand for values that are not sufficiently respected by Mr Erdogan". That's why it's not good that our worldwide players let themselves be manipulated for his electoral campaign.

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But he added the players "didn't help the DFB's integration work". He expressed confidence over players' commitment to playing for Germany and the values it represents.

"They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we can not endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players". "When you play for Germany you represent German values", Loew said at a news conference to name his provisional squad for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder scored the victor four years ago as Germany defeated Argentina in extra time to claim its fourth title but has struggled with injuries over the last couple of years.

"The planning horizon over four years is ideal, I'd like to think, especially because there might be some changes in the squad after the 2018 World Cup", Low said upon unveiling his preliminary squad, as reported by ESPN.

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