Mesut Ozil should have been given more support in the aftermath of his country’s World Cup exit, admitted German FA president Reinhard Grindel.
Ozil retired from international football after the tournament and said he suffered “racism and disrespect” for his links to Turkey, who he as eligible to play for.
When he made the announcement on Twitter, Ozil made specific reference to the German FA, and Grindel for their lack of backing, claiming the 56-year-old was “belittling” and “patronishing” to him.
Grindel apologised to the Arsenal star in German newspaper Bild and said: “I should have positioned myself more clearly given the racist attacks from some corners and I should have put myself in front of Mesut Ozil.
“Such attacks are unacceptable. I should have found clear words. I am sorry he feels let down by the DFB.
“It was always clear for me that we win together and we lose together. It would be absurd to blame one single player for our elimination.”
The 29-year-old was singled out for particular criticism when Germany lost to Mexico and South Korea in Russia – he did not play in their only win, against Sweden.
It was his fifth major tournament with the national side after starting in all of their games at the World Cup in 2010, Euro 2012, the successful World Cup in 2014 and Euro 2016, a run of 25 consecutive games.
Ozil was photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to the tournament this summer, endorsing the re-election his bid for re-election, and was targeted by Germany fans as a result.
But upon his international retirement, despite some public support from players, he came under even further criticism from Uli Hoeness and, astonishingly, Toni Kroos.