Former Germany international Didi Hamann has criticised the DFB (German Football Association) for their handling of the political situation surrounding Mesut Ozil.
The Arsenal star announced his retirement from international football yesterday, citing discrimination from the DFB as one of the main reasons for his decision.
Ozil, who has Turkish ancestry, has been heavily criticised in Germany for taking a photo with Turkey president Erdogan before the World Cup.
And Hamann believes the DFB didn't do enough to support the midfielder.
"What happened to this guy leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Of course, his behaviour was not clever by taking this picture just before the World Cup. But the DFB should have taken care of this", said the ex-Liverpool midfielder who won 59 caps for Germany.
"Now everybody is swinging at him. His qualities are questioned. We should stay strong. We shouldn't become populistic.
"It is a fact that the DFB should have behaved differently after the picture was taken. This problem should have been solved before the World Cup.
"Bad work from the DFB. And weak leadership. They just let the problem grow. That's why everybody started attacking Ozil."