Arsenal's Mesut Ozil makes first public appearance since controversial Germany withdrawal

Dean Simpson
July 25, 2018

Ozil's announcement that he was retiring from global football at the age of 29 came in a series of lengthy, defiant statements in which he decried his treatment in the wake of the nation's disastrous World Cup campaign as well as the reaction to a controversial meeting he held with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in May.

The DFB has "emphatically rejected" Ozil's claims of racist treatment and while Gunners manager Emery did not take sides, he offered his support to the German as a member of his squad on a pre-season tour of Singapore.

"We are going to help him to feel good", Emery added.

He feels good and has normality with us.

Emery says he has not yet spoken to Ozil about his decision, which was explained across several lengthy statements on Twitter.

The new Arsenal manager Emery might have hoped for a more straightforward assignment as he spoke to the media for the first time in south-east Asia but the morning was overshadowed by the continuing furore surrounding Ozil's decision.

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at global level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect", he said. "I´m looking at every player and I think Mesut, he has here the respect of every player".

Ozil also blamed the German Football Federation (DFB) for failing to defend him against his most strident critics.

"For us, he's an important player and obviously we're going to support him and make sure he feels right to perform at his best and feels comfortable".

"He's training really well, he's happy to be with us and we're happy to have him back as well because he is one of the key players in our team and we need him to be fit and ready for the season".

And the 29-year-old seemed to be in good shape as he prepared himself for his first training session under the new man in charge at The Emirates.

Arsenal will also play Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday in the tournament.

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