23rd August, 2018
The issues surrounding the racism claims by Mesut Ozil in the German football circles is one that is not about to go away in a hurry as many people keep looking at it from various perspectives. Some on Mesut’s side of the divide and some others naturally on the other side.
The latest person to add his voice to the saga is no other person than Jurgen Klopp, someone who is surely an authority when it comes to German football and issues surrounding it.
As far as the Liverpool manager is concerned the whole issue concerning the Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan’s photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been totally blown out of proportion.
It will be recalled that Ozil and Gundogan posed for a picture with the Turkish leader during his visit to London in May, prompting a storm of criticism from various quarters especially in Germany.
Then came the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Germany sensationally crashing out of the tournament in the group stage.
This was followed by Ozil announcing his retirement from international football, amid accusations of discrimination and racism regarding his Turkish heritage.
Thereafter, the issue has remained a debate that has refused to come to an end.
In a recent interview, the Liverpool manager Klopp, who coached Gundogan at Borussia Dortmund, told Sport1 that he believes much of the discussion surrounding the divisive subject is very hypocritical.
According to him:
“This is a classic example of absolute misinformation and, of course, complete nonsense,” he said.
“In politics, little things have always been blown up and big things pushed away in order to continue. Normally, intelligent people tend to hold back because it is not easy to say the right thing. I would count myself [among those people] too. All those who have no idea are very loud in these conversations.
“I know Ilkay Gundogan very well, I know Emre Can and Nuri Sahin very well. I do not know Mesut so well, but I would like to take him home. I do not doubt these guys, at least about their loyalty to our homeland. The difference is that they just have one more thing [in their heritage]. Where is the problem? That’s beautiful.
“Cultural diversity, we all thought it was really cool around the 2006 World Cup. I saw these fantastic commercials where the parents of Gerald Asamoah and Mario Gomez had a barbecue party together.
“We all sighed for how great that works. And now two guys are seduced by politically quite intelligent people to have a photo, and then have relatively few opportunities to say what they want 100 per cent right.
“That’s why I find this discussion hypocritical. Bad things happened because people were not informed properly. Even the media should not create a buzz around something like this every day. Just cool off and see the people behind it.”
What a very sane and sound contribution on the topic from Klopp. This is hoping that more people will take to looking at issues as objectively as he has done here.