Toni Kroos dismisses Mesut Ozil's claims of racism in Germany World Cup camp

Mesut Ozil (L) and Toni Kroos (R) during the recent World Cup when Germany crashed out at the group stage. (AFP)
Updated 16 August 2018
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Toni Kroos dismisses Mesut Ozil's claims of racism in Germany World Cup camp

  • Germany still in turmoil after early World Cup exit and Ozil's claims of racism.
  • Loew's side set to face France next month in first match after Russia tournament.

Germany midfielder Toni Kroos says Mesut Ozil was “out of order” to make accusations of racism within the German set up as he retired from international football last month.
“Basically, Mesut is a long-serving national team player and deserved a better exit as a footballer,” Kroos, 28, told German daily Bild.
“I have played with Mesut for many years and know that he is a nice guy. But the way he retired was out of order.
“The proportion of his statement which was fair and justified was unfortunately overshadowed by a much higher proportion of nonsense.
“I think he himself knows that racism does not exist within the national team and the DFB.
“On the contrary, we are always committed to diversity and integration. Mesut was a good example of that, like many of our team mates.”
Ozil, 29, created a furor last month when he retired from international football in an explosive three-part statement in which he accused German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel of racism.
“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” wrote Ozil, sparking a storm in Germany and triggering fierce debate about integration.
Ozil fell foul of German fans and was booed during pre-World Cup friendlies after he and fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, raising questions about the pair’s loyalty to Germany.
Only a handful of Germany players have spoken about the saga, which captain Manuel Neuer described as “stressful” while Thomas Mueller said there is “no question of racism within the team.”
Real Madrid star Kroos says Arsenal midfielder Ozil, who like Gundogan has Turkish roots, was wrong to meet with Erdogan and then wait two months before breaking his silence.
“Mesut was criticized for the photo — and rightly so,” said Kroos. “And he missed the chance to explain himself.
“Nevertheless, he was completely supported by the coaching staff and the (national) team.
“Later he was — like the rest of us — criticized for the performance at the World Cup.
“The type of criticism was certainly not always at a good (justified) level — but then you have to deal with that as a player.”
In the first game since their World Cup debacle, Germany, who have plummeted to 15th in the FIFA rankings, will host world champions France in Munich on Sept. 6 in the newly-launched Nations League tournament.
Germany head coach Joachim Loew has promised sweeping changes and Kroos has resisted the urge to retire.
“Yes, I will continue until Euro 2020 and have set the big goal that we will be far more successful than last time,” said Kroos.
Fellow German midfielder Sami Khedira, 31, also ruled out retirement on Thursday and hopes for a call-up against France to make amends for the World Cup disaster.
“After a good season with Juventus, I played my two worst matches at the World Cup with full fitness. That was really bad,” Khedira, wrote on Instagram.
However, Kroos says the squad Loew selects on Aug. 29 must find the necessary drive that was so badly missing in Russia.
“We have to be greedy and more forceful again, as far as goal-scoring is concerned,” added Kroos.
“And we have to be more unpleasant to play against in terms of defense — without just defending.”
Loew welcomed Kroos’ decision to stay on.
“With his experience, class and personality, he is of course a key player who plays a very important role in our future plans — on and off the pitch,” reacted Loew on dfb.de.
However, the head coach has yet to comment on the Ozil fiasco.


Ravi Ashwin unrepentant over ‘Mankad’ mayhem in IPL

Updated 8 min 55 sec ago
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Ravi Ashwin unrepentant over ‘Mankad’ mayhem in IPL

  • India spinner says law shows he was within his rights to run out Buttler.
  • Ashwin told he is a 'disgrace' by Shane Warne and other former players.

LONDON: Ravi Ashwin has reignited the heated debate over whether the “spirit of the game” should be considered when potentially running out an opposition batsman.
Coming into bowl during his Kings XI Punjab side’s match against the Rajasthan Royals the Indian spinner checked his run as Royals batsman Jos Buttler left his crease, and whipped off his bails. Known as a “Mankad” the dismissal is within the laws of the game but critics say it is unsportsmanlike and not in the spirit of the deeply traditional sport.

 


Australian spin king Shane Warne was just one of a number of former players who took to Twitter to attack Ashwin for the dismissal saying: “As captain of your side you set the standard... Why do such a disgraceful and low act like that tonight?” tweeted the Australian.
“You must live with yourself and FYI — it’s too late to say sorry Mr.Ashwin. You will be remembered for that low act.”

But Ashwin was in no mood for contrition and claimed so long as the dismissal is legal he, and others, should have no problem continuing getting batsmen out that way.
“On my part, it was very instinctive,” the 32-year-old said.
“It was not planned or anything like that. It’s there within the rules of the game. I don’t understand where the spirit of the game comes, naturally if it’s there in the rules it’s there.
“I don’t understand the point of ‘sporting’ in that point because it’s rules.”
The dismissal prompted Buttler to shout in the direction of Ashwin as he walked off the pitch and a Royals collapse, losing seven wickets for 16 runs as Kings XI Punjab won by 14 runs.