German FA upset with Ozil, Gundogan being involved in Erdogan election 'stunt'

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"That's why it's not good our national team players allowed themselves to be misused for his election campaign manoeuvres".

Mesut Özil of Arsenal and Ilkay Gündogan of Manchester City met the Turkish leader in London after his arrival for a state visit.

While a seemingly innocuous occurrence, DFB chiefs Reinhard Grindel says the association have taken issue with the pair appearing in the photos one month ahead of the 2018 World Cup finals, given Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian stance in recent years.

Ozil and Gundogan, German internationals of Turkish heritage, have been criticised for their part in the situation. "Our players have not helped our integration work". Veteran Greens lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, with Turkish roots, described them as tasteless and embarrassing.

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Gundogan insisted he "didn't want to make a political statement with this photo and even less so campaign for his election".

"The president of an worldwide German footballer is called Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his chancellor Angela Merkel and his parliament the Bundestag, the headquarters of which are in Berlin and not Ankara", Ozdemir told AFP subsidiary SID.

A commentary in top-selling Bild, which ran the photos on its front page, said: "The main question is whether the two German national players still fit into our German team".

Another portfolio manager, who attended a meeting with Erdogan, said the president had been "very honest" and clear about where he expected interest rates to go if he should win the elections on June 24.

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"If the United Kingdom government and Theresa May believe in free expression and free speech, then we expect them to put robust discussion of the censorship of journalists, artists and academics in Turkey on the table in meetings with President Erdogan while he is in London".

"The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said that it will impose economic and political sanctions on countries, officials, parliaments, companies or individuals who support the US Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem".

Germany have been deemed as the favourites to win the World Cup in Russian Federation after their decent display in the last World Cup where they won the trophy.

"We have to be fair, there is no intention whatsoever to get them involved", he told a briefing in London on Monday.

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