WC 2018: Hummels hits out at Germany fans

14 June, 2018, 14:32 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Ilkay Gundogan centre did not prove popular with Germany fans when he was brought on by manager Joachim Low right during Friday's 2-1 friendly win over Saudi Arabia. Thilo Schmuelgen  Reuters

Hummels, however, encouraged supporters to move on from the episode and unite behind the team as they attempt to defend their World Cup crown in Russian Federation.

World champions Germany survived a late scare to see off Saudi Arabia 2-1 on Friday and claim a first victory this year, putting a five-game winless run behind them as they finalised their World Cup preparations.

Unfortunately for him, the German fans had little sympathy for the Premier League victor who was jeered every time he touched the ball for the final half-hour of the game.

Some Germany fans clearly remain unimpressed over his decision to pose for a photo with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to London last month, along with Arsenal's Mesut Ozil - who also has Turkish heritage - and Everton's Turkey forward Cenk Tosun.

She added: "I think the two players have not considered what the photo triggers with President Erdogan".

Erdogan is hoping to cement his grip on power in an election this month and some 1.4 million expatriate Turks are eligible to vote in Germany. This goes far beyond the Erdogan photo.

Gundogan said it was never his intention to make a political statement.

"But my request is only to allow the players to focus on the tournament during the World Cup".

"First of all, having a national player booed like that helps nobody".

"They are not our fans", Loew said at the time.

Gundogan handed over a City shirt with the message "to my president, with my respects", which led to criticism, including from politicians and DFB (German Football Association) chief Reinhard Grindel. While Ozil has not addressed it in public, and, according to Bierhoff, will not talk to media at the World Cup, Gundogan talked to selected press during Germany's media day last week.

The DFB prides itself on Germany's multicultural team, but a spotlight has now been directed on the dedication of players with roots from outside the country such as Sami Khedira, Antonio Ruediger and Jerome Boateng.

The players have handled the issue differently.

"I believe we started well". At the end, we even needed a bit of luck. "There shouldn't be an attempt to drive a rift, but rather an attempt to build a bridge so we can go with whole other thoughts to the World Cup".


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