England FA Cup

DFB chief regrets leaving Mesut Ozil to face racist attacks

BERLIN (AP) The president of Germany's football federation wishes he had given Mesut Ozil more support against racist attacks following the controversy over the player's photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

DFB president Reinhard Grindel, who previously conceded making mistakes in handling the controversy, told Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag that he had not sought to make Ozil the scapegoat for Germany's disappointing first-round exit from the World Cup.

"In view of the racist attacks, I should have positioned myself more clearly in one or two areas and backed Mesut Ozil," Grindel said. "I should have found clear words. Such attacks are totally unacceptable. I'm sorry that Mesut Ozil felt abandoned by the DFB."

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