The draw between Germany and Spain, today (27), for the second round of the group stage of the World Cup was marked by protests in the stands of the Al Bayt Stadium. Qatari fans appeared with images of the German midfielder Mesut Özil and covering their own mouths, in response to the German protest in defeat to Japan.
The German demonstration was a criticism of FIFA for banning the use of the armband in defense of the LGTBQIAP+ population. In response, the local population remembered the case of the former midfielder of the German national team who retired from the team after claiming to be prejudiced by German fans.
Mesut Özil left the German national team in 2018 after their elimination in the group stage of the World Cup. At the time, the midfielder criticized the German Football Federation’s stance on the matter.
The German player, who is of Turkish descent, was heavily criticized after appearing in a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is constantly accused of human rights violations.
“I was the target of racist abuse, even from politicians and public figures, and no one from the team came forward to say: ‘Stop it, he’s our player, you can’t insult him like that’. let that happen,” said the player, who currently plays for Basaksehir (TUR).
At the time, the player stated that he saw no problem in the meeting and classified it as: “demonstration of respect to the highest authority in the country of my family”.
Another controversy raised was the accusation by the then president of the German federation, Reinhard Grindel, of treating players with dual nationality as “Germans when we win and immigrants when we lose”.