Berlin — German footballer Mesut Ozil’s decision to quit the national team due to "racism and disrespect" he faced over his Turkish roots threw a spotlight on Monday on the country’s relations with its largest immigrant community. Cem Ozdemir, the most prominent German politician of Turkish origin, said it would be difficult for the head of the national football association to stay in the role, adding that Ozil’s departure would only be welcomed by those who opposed diversity. The German Football Association (DFB) on Monday rejected claims of racism made by Ozil against its president, Reinhard Grindel, in an angry resignation letter. "We reject the notion that the DFB is associated with racism," read a statement. "The DFB stands for diversity, from the representatives at the top to the boundless, day-to-day dedication of people at the base." Ozil’s announcement on social media late on Sunday led national newspapers to clear their front pages for the 29-year-old midfielder, who was a...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now