In an interview with Bild, DFB President Reinhard Grindel reiterated his desire to have handled the situation with Mesut Özil differently, saying he thought intensively about it.
“Regarding the racist attacks, I could have taken a clearer position at some points and stood by Mesut Özil,” Grindel said. “I should have been clear with my words. Such attacks are completely unacceptable. I regret that he felt deserted by the DFB. It is important to say though, that I said nothing about his sporting performance after the World Cup. For me, it was obvious that we win together and lose together. To make an individual player responsible for our exit would be absurd.”
Özil specifically called out Grindel in his statement though, saying the president blamed him for the team’s bad performances in Russia. “That is not right. I was talking about a different point,” Grindel told Bild. “After the photos with President Erdogan, Ilkay Gündogan clearly and understandably made a statement. I would have liked the same from Özil, because I know from conversations with fans that they too had questions on the matter. That must not be misinterpreted as criticism of his sporting performance. I would have liked such an explanation even if we ended up winning the World Cup.”
Asked about Özil’s accusations, Grindel said it “wasn’t about his feelings” but instead about not discrediting the integration work being done by the DFB.
More new faces?
Germany head coach Joachim Löw will give his long-awaited analysis of the World Cup disaster on August 29. Grindel revealed in the interview that he told Löw that change is needed.
“I’ve told the head coach that, from my perspective, extensive changes are needed. In that sense, I mean less in a personnel sense and more in the kind of performance sense: more commitment, more willingness to give everything.”