Captain Manuel Neuer was Thursday, the latest in a long line of German internationals Mesut Özil and Ilkay Gundogan to support after their controversial photo with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Neuer insured the two were on the press conference of the German team “its full support”. “This case is long and wide spread in the media, but in the team, it was never a topic. The case has long been classified. We focus on our game, that is, in the first place the most important thing.”
Özil and Gundogan, both players with Turkish roots, took a lot of criticism on their neck after the middle of may, together with the Turkish leader posed for a photo. There followed then a meeting with the German president Frank-Walter Steinmaier and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Gundogan was last week during the last friendly match of the Germans, against Saudi Arabia, still sore uitgefloten by the German fans. National coach Joachim Löw had afterwards the chunks of glue. “We have talked with both players and they both see on the situation. It is time to put everything behind us and on the field our best form to show.”
Reinhard Grindel, president of the German football association, was arriving in Russia to know that the photos were not consistent with German values. “The players had should know better. But I want the German fans questions now fully behind the players. There are problems in our country, but our support of the players do not disturb. I hope that the full benefit of our fans can count on in Russia.”