Fans in Qatar accuse Germany of HYPOCRISY during Spain match by holding up pictures of Mesut Özil

Fans in Qatar accuse Germany of HYPOCRISY during Spain match after they covered their mouths in protest against discrimination, holding up pictures of Mesut Ozil – who hit out at racism in the German FA when he retired from international duty in 2018

  • Germany’s players performed an anti-discrimination gesture on Wednesday
  • They covered their mouths in unison before suffering a 2-1 defeat against Japan
  • Fans showed pictures of Mesut Ozil during Germany’s crucial clash with Spain
  • Özil withdrew from the national team in 2018, accusing the German Football Association of racism
  • The midfielder claimed he was being used as a scapegoat because of his Turkish roots

A group of fans held up pictures of Mesut Ozil during Germany’s World Cup decider against Spain on Sunday, in an attempt to highlight perceived hypocrisy following the team’s anti-discrimination protest against Japan.

Ahead of their historic 2-1 defeat to Japan on Wednesday, Hansi Flick’s side covered their mouth in protest at FIFA’s decision to ban OneLove’s inclusive captain’s armband.

World football’s governing body threatened to issue sanctions to captains if they wore the garment, which was designed in part to act as a symbol against anti-LGBTQ laws in Qatar.

Fans held up pictures of Mesut Özil during Germany’s World Cup clash against Spain on Sunday

They were held to challenge Germany after their anti-discrimination gesture on Wednesday

They were held to challenge Germany after their anti-discrimination gesture on Wednesday

Germany decided not to make a similar gesture before Sunday’s clash with Spain.

During the match, fans in the stadium were seen holding up pictures of former Germany midfielder Özil, who sensationally retired from international football in 2018 after speaking out against racism in the German FA.

Øzil claimed he was used as a scapegoat in the aftermath of Germany’s group stage elimination at the World Cup in Russia, insisting he had become an “unwanted” part of the national team, with a “feeling of racism and disrespect”.

Germany's players covered their mouths in protest before their 2-1 defeat to Japan

Germany’s players covered their mouths in protest before their 2-1 defeat to Japan

But the players decided not to perform the same gesture before kick-off against Spain

But the players decided not to perform the same gesture before kick-off against Spain

In a statement posted on Twitter, he accused German officials of having a “disrespect” for his Turkish roots and “selfishly turning him into political propaganda” when the country lost matches.

Ozil ended his statement by saying that “racism should never, ever be accepted”.

In a clear reference to the saga of Ozil’s retirement, supporters were keen to highlight the hypocrisy of Germany’s anti-discrimination gesture on Wednesday, with a player who quit the national team as a result of racism just four years ago.

Özil hit out against racism in the German Football Association when he retired from international football in 2018

Özil hit out against racism in the German Football Association when he retired from international football in 2018

Mesut Özil’s full statement in 2018

The treatment I have received from the DFB (the German Football Association) and many others means that I no longer want to wear the German national team jersey.

I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.

I will no longer play for Germany at international level while having this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with so much pride and excitement, but now I don’t.

When senior DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough.

That’s not why I play football and I don’t want to sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted.

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