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Loew seeks to clear air with Ozil over 2018 Germany exit


Herzogenaurach (Germany) (AFP) – Outgoing Germany coach Joachim Loew wants clear-the-air talks with Mesut Ozil in a fresh attempt to bury the hatchet with the midfielder, who quit international football in 2018 amid accusations of racism.

Following Germany’s 2-0 defeat to England at Wembley in the last 16 of Euro 2020 on Tuesday, Loew is stepping down after 15 years in charge of the national side.

However, Ozil’s shock decision to quit the German team in the wake of their humiliating group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup remains a “huge personal disappointment” for Loew.

“The time will come when we will talk or meet again, to talk things over and put everything aside,” Loew said Wednesday at Germany’s Euro 2020 base in Bavaria.

Ozil, a German of Turkish decent, complained of being subjected to “racism” and quit the national team in anger following Germany’s miserable display in Russia.

His place in the team was the subject of fierce debate during the tournament, after which he penned an explosive resignation letter accusing the German Football Association of structural racism.

He said fans regarded him as “German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.”

Loew’s previous attempt to speak with Ozil in September 2018, when the midfielder was still at Arsenal, was reportedly blocked by the Premier League club.  

When he signed for Turkish side Fenerbahce in January, the 32-year-old Ozil flatly ruled out ever adding to his 92 appearances for Germany. 

He was part of the German side which won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Loew regards him as “an incredibly important and great player”.

“At some point, we will talk things over. The memories will then also be positive for us,” Loew assured.

Loew, 61, will be replaced by former assistant Hansi Flick, who will begin his Germany reign with September’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

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