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German FA Boss Admits to Mistakes in Ozil Affair, Denies Racism Accusations

German FA Boss Admits to Mistakes in Ozil Affair, Denies Racism Accusations German FA Boss Admits to Mistakes in Ozil Affair, Denies Racism Accusations , German FA Boss Admits to Mistakes in Ozil Affair, Denies Racism Accusations

German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel has once again rejected accusations of racism, but has admitted that he and his colleagues made mistakes in their handling of the ongoing debate over midfielder Mesut Ozil.

“Mesut Özil’s retirement unleashed a discussion about racism in general and about the integrative power of football,” wrote Grindel in a statement on the DFB website. “As DFB president, I don’t want to remove myself from this debate.”

According to Local.de, Özil stepped down from the German national team last week following a summer of acrimony after he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in April.

In his resignation statement, the Arsenal midfielder fiercely criticized Grindel and the DFB, accusing them of racism and claiming they had not done enough to protect him from discrimination.

On Thursday, Grindel once again rejected claims that he had acted in a racist manner, saying such accusations were “hurtful”.

“The criticism has hurt me, and I am even sorrier that my colleagues, the many volunteers, grassroots and members of the DFB who have been associated with racism,” wrote Grindel. “The values of the DFB are my values: diversity, solidarity, integration and anti-discrimination. These are values close to my heart.”

In the days after Özil’s statement, many have called for Grindel to resign too. On Thursday, the DFB president admitted that he had made mistakes, and that he could have been stronger in his condemnation of racism earlier in the summer.

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