Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan’s involvement within the ongoing row a few picture that they had taken with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan may affect Germany head coach Joachim Low’s crew choice, in accordance with Oliver Bierhoff.
“Jogi [Low] does not make any populist decisions just to satisfy someone, he rather looks at the sporting side of things,” Bierhoff informed Bild when requested a few attainable affect on the beginning formation. “But [the scandal] could as well be a small aspect [in the decision-making process].”
Premier League duo Ozil and Gundogan, each born within the German metropolis of Gelsenkirchen to Turkish dad and mom, had an image taken with Erdogan in the course of the Turkish president’s go to to London in Could.
The picture was launched on social media someday earlier than the announcement of Germany’s preliminary World Cup squad and sparked a row that led to each gamers being whistled at in the course of the nation’s two pre-World Cup friendlies in opposition to Austria and Saudi Arabia — in addition to German chancellor Angela Merkel commenting on it.
The gamers have dealt with the problem in a different way. Whereas Ozil has not addressed it in public, and, in accordance with Bierhoff, won’t discuss to media on the World Cup, Gundogan talked to chose press throughout Germany’s media day final week.
The picture of the 2 Germany internationals and the Turkish president has led to a significant dialogue in German society on the combination of Turkish immigrants amid rigidity between the 2 states, amplified by the imprisonment of distinguished journalist Deniz Yucel, who was locked away for over a yr from February 2017.
“It’s obvious that the discussion over integration should not end here, and also not that over the photo,” Bierhoff added. “We should proceed to face this challenge and account for it. We have now lots of gamers in our academies with a migrant background. This goes far past the Erdogan picture.
“But my request is only to allow the players to focus on the tournament during the World Cup.”
Bierhoff’s sentiment was echoed by Germany keeper Manuel Neuer. He informed Gazzetta dello Sport that the scenario is “bothering the whole nation” and never simply the 2 gamers.
“We’re footballers and we want to think about football, essentially the World Cup, which is what matters,” he added.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Comply with him on Twitter @uersfeld.