Thomas Muller insists racism has not been an issue within the Germany team and has blamed the media for over flogging the reason behind Mesut Ozil’s retirement from the squad.
Ozil retired from international football after what he perceived as racism from the DFB, supporters and politicians after he and Gundogan’s meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel had asked Ozil to explain the reason behind the meeting, while DFB manager Oliver Bierhoff stated the midfielder should have been left out of the squad for the World Cup.
The discussion of the topic continues as the new season approaches, and Muller is the latest to be asked about it.
Rather than opting to back Ozil, the attacker decided to accuse the media of being hypocrites who would not let the initial story fade away.
“The whole discussion was fired up by outsiders,” Muller said at a news conference on Friday ahead of Sunday’s friendly clash with Manchester United.
“Of course, the protagonists of that matter acted a little bit unfortunately, both the executives of the DFB and the players.
“But, actually, this debate is hypocritical from the media’s side. Because of the debate, the media gets circulation.
“The DFB wanted to have peace with it, calm it, but the media always asked, again and again. The discussion was made bigger than it was and now you see what you get from that.
“For the sales numbers, of course, this is great, because now you still get to ask about it.
“For us players, I think the whole issue never was as big as it was made out to be, but of course we got confronted by it and we still do.
“So now we finally should end that debate and concentrate on football, because racism inside the national team never was an issue.”