Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp feels the controversy surrounding Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil and Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan‘s photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been made a huge deal about.
Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan pose with Turkish president amid his visit to London in May, provoking a storm of criticism that eclipsed Germany’s plan for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
After the defending champions were thumped out of the tournament in the group stage, Ozil announced his retirement from international duty, in the midst of allegations of discrimination and racism in regards to his Turkish roots.
Some noticeable figures in German football have dismissed the 29-year-old’s assertions out of hand, and the issue remains a reason for heated debate early in the 2018-19 season.
Jurgen Klopp, who coached Gundogan at Borussia Dortmund, revealed to Sport1, that he believes a significant part of the controversies surrounding the divisive subject is hyporitical.
“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 percent 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.”