BERLIN. — German politicians on Wednesday accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using Mesut Ozil’s controversial retirement from international football to boost Turkey’s bid to host Euro 2024 – and weaken Germany’s.
On Sunday, Ozil (29) dropped a bombshell by announcing he will not play for Germany again and accused Reinhard Grindel, the president of the German FA (DFB), of racism.
On Monday, Erdogan backed Ozil’s stance, but senior voices in Berlin accused the Turkish leader of trying to undermine Germany’s bid to host the Euro 2024 finals.
Erdogan has waded into the debate over Ozil’s decision “precisely when the DFB needs the necessary trust of the other UEFA member federations”, according to Wolfgang Bosbach, a former member of parliament in Angela Merkel’s CDU party. “Is it really a coincidence?”
Germany and Turkey are the only nations bidding to host the European championships in six years’ time with a decision expected on September 27 by UEFA. — AFP