Fans held Mezut Ozil’s pictures to protest the hypocrisy of Germany during their World Cup clash against Spain.
As the Western country continues to tackle Qatar over alleged violations of human and discrimination against LGBT+ communities, it appears some fans are not moved or sympathetic to these political gestures during games.
A group of fans were spotted during the Germany Vs. Spain game holding up pictures of Mesut Ozil to highlight perceived hypocrisy after the team’s anti-discrimination protest versus Japan.
Before the historic 2-1 defeat of Germany by Japan on Wednesday, German players covered their mouths in protest of FIFA’s decision to ban the inclusivity-promoting OneLove captain’s armband.
Recall that FIFA had threatened to sanction team captains with sanctions if they wore the One Love armband, which was designed in part to act as a symbol against anti-LGBT+ laws in Qatar.
After the political gesture in the opening game against Japan, Germany decided to sheath their upset and posed no similar gesture in the game against Spain.
However, during the match, fans in the stadium were seen holding up pictures of former Germany midfielder Ozil to protest alleged hypocrisy by Germany and the West by extension.
Mezut Ozil retired from international football in 2018 but slammed the German FA for systematic racism targeted on black players in the German football system.
Ozil claimed he was used as a scapegoat during the aftermath of Germany’s group-stage elimination at the Russia World Cup. The former Arsenal playmaker insisted he had become an ‘unwanted’ part of the national team, holding a ‘feeling of racism and disrespect.’
In a statement posted to Twitter, he accused German officials of tackling him and embarking on political propaganda against him when Germany lost matches.
Spectators at the Al Bayt stadium were clearly alluding to Mezut Ozil’s ordeal with the German national team, which subsequently led to his retirement from the team.
The fans pointed out the hypocrisy of Germany’s anti-discrimination gesture on Wednesday, with a player having quit the national team as a result of racism just four years ago.
Meanwhile, Ozil said he quit the national team because of the treatment he received from the DFB (German Football Association) and many others, which made him no longer willing to wear the German national team shirt
According to him, he felt unwanted and thought that what he had achieved since his international debut in 2009 had been forgotten.
He also slammed the DFB for disrespecting his Turkish roots and selfishly turning him into a political propaganda.
Meanwhile, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, had been solidly behind Qatar in the seeming face-off between the West and the Gulf state in the buildup to the tournament.
Infantino had equally slammed the West of hypocrisy and has threatened extreme disciplinary actions if they defy FIFA’s order and proceed with the One Love campaign.
The West were forced to abandon the botched plan after the FIFA clampdown, but not without murmurings and tensions.
Following the face-off, Denmark is reportedly considering withdrawing from FIFA. Tensions are a simmering between FIFA and some Western teams as the tournament progresses.