Football-goers were seen holding up pictures of Mesut Ozil, who faced discrimination on German national team, and covering their mouths with their hands during Germany’s match with Spain in the World Cup.

“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Mesut Ozil had said at the time when he faced racial discrimination from Germany.
“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Mesut Ozil had said at the time when he faced racial discrimination from Germany. (AP)

Football fans in Qatar hit back at Germany by holding pictures of former Germany player Mesut Ozil who faced discrimination in the country's national football team.

A group of fans on Sunday held copies of a hand-drawn sketch of Ozil, while others showed pictures of him in action for Germany.

The display was apparently in response to Germany questionable treatment of Ozil, the former player who quit the national team after becoming a target of racist abuse and a scapegoat for Germany’s early World Cup exit in 2018.

Fans also protests German players' behaviour when they covered their mouths to protest against FIFA following the governing body’s clampdown on political symbol messages.

READ MORE: Mesut Ozil lifts the lid on racism and discrimination in Germany

State-level discrimination

Mesut Ozil, a German-born descendant of Turkish immigrants, accused the country's soccer federation, fans and media of racism in their treatment of people with Turkish roots.

“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil said at the time.

The abuse started before the 2018 World Cup when Ozil posed for photographs with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and increased after the tournament, helped by incendiary statements from Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff and the federation president at the time, Reinhard Grindel.

Grindel later said he should have given Ozil more support.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies