Loew pleads with Ger­man fans not to boo Gun­do­gan, Ozil at World Cup

The Borneo Post - - SPORT -

VATUTINKI, Rus­sia: Joachim Loew has called on Ger­man fans to stop boo­ing Ilkay Gun­do­gan and Me­sut Ozil af­ter the Pre­mier League stars found them­selves at the cen­tre of a po­lit­i­cal row.

Gun­do­gan and Ozil, who were born in Gelsenkirchen to Turk­ish par­ents, were jeered and whis­tled by fans dur­ing pre-World Cup friendlies af­ter pos­ing for a photo along­side Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan.

Gun­do­gan pre­sented Er­do­gan with a Manch­ester City shirt signed “to my pres­i­dent” but said the meet­ing was not po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated, while Ozil has re­fused to com­ment.

“My job is to get both play­ers, who have cer­tainly suf­fered from this sit­u­a­tion, in good shape,” said the head coach on Wed­nes­day at Ger­many’s fi rst press con­fer­ence in Rus­sia.

“It may be that these play­ers will still be ac­com­pa­nied by whis­tles. So be it. I wish it were other­wise. My job is to get them in the flow to help the team.”

The de­fend­ing world cham­pi­ons play their first match against Mex­ico in Moscow on Sun­day.

St­ef­fen Ef­fen­berg is the lat­est exGer­many in­ter­na­tional to say the pair should be thrown out of the team over the scan­dal.

In a bid to con­vince Ger­man fans they are com­mit­ted to the Ger­man team, Gun­do­gan and Ozil met Ger­many’s Pres­i­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier be­fore the World Cup and Loew asked fans to get be­hind the pair – so far to no avail. The Ger­man Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is ex­as­per­ated by the sit­u­a­tion, which the re­fuses to go away in the Ger­man me­dia.

DFB pres­i­dent Rein­hard Grindel be­lieves there is lit­tle more the play­ers can do.

“If you take Ilkay Gun­do­gan, he im­me­di­ately made it clear he had made a mis­take and talked to the pres­i­dent (Stein­meier). He has done ev­ery­thing he could,” said the DFB chief. “Nev­er­the­less, he was booed. “I think there has to be some­thing deeper, a so­cial-po­lit­i­cal is­sue, and the ar­gu­ment that it would all be over if Ozil voiced his stance has been re­futed by the ex­am­ple of Gun­do­gan. — AFP

Me­sut Ozil

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