0Shares0000Mesut Ozil’s father said he believed his son had agreed to have a photograph taken with the Turkish president only out of “politeness” and that it was never meant to be a political statement © TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AFP / KAYHAN OZERBERLIN, Germany, Jul 8 – The father of Mesut Ozil said Sunday his son should quit Germany’s national squad after he was “made the scapegoat” for Die Mannschaft’s shock first-round defeat at the World Cup.Ozil, 29, has come in for hefty criticism in Germany after the World Champions crashed out in Russia, finishing bottom of their group. Pressure had already been mounting on the Arsenal midfielder in the World Cup run-up over a controversial photograph with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was seized on to question his loyalty to Germany.On Thursday, Germany’s team boss Oliver Bierhoff sparked a new round of outcry over a statement suggesting Ozil, who has Turkish roots, should have been dropped after his failure to publicly clear up the Erdogan meeting.“This statement is insolent. In my opinion, it is aimed at saving one’s own skin,” said the mid-fielder’s father Mustafa Ozil in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.Bierhoff later backtracked, apologising that he “was wrong”.Ozil senior said he believed his son had agreed to have a photograph taken with Erdogan only out of “politeness” and that it was never meant to be a political statement.He also defended Ozil for not having spoken out to clarify his position.“He no longer wants to explain himself, he no longer wants to have to defend himself all the time. He has been playing for nine years in the German team… including becoming world champions with the A-team.“He has contributed a lot for this country. It has always been: if we win, we win together.“But when we lose, we lose because of Ozil? He is now getting whistled at and made a scapegoat. I can understand if he feels insulted,” said the midfielder’s father.Calling the treatment accorded to his son “so unfair”, Ozil senior said “he needs to decide for himself. But if I were in his place, I’d say – thanks a lot but that’s it!”“The hurt has grown too strong. And who knows what’ll happen at the next match. In Mesut’s place, I would step down. But that’s just my very personal opinion,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)
Other winners from the night included:Cruise Champion, Australasia: Tim Faircloth, I Love CruisingAUSTRALIAAgency Promotion of the Year: MyCruisesNetwork Promotion of the Year: helloworld New ZealandMedia Award: Andrew Conway for “The New Wave”#ChooseCruise Promotion of the Year: Bon Voyage Travel & CruiseRising Star: Peter Fontinis, Clean CruisingHome-Based Agent of the Year: Nicole Edgar, TravelManagers AustraliaOnline Cruise Agency of the Year: CleanCruisingNEW ZEALANDAgency Promotion of the Year: Bon Voyage Cruises & TravelBroker of the Year: Denise Fowler, The Travel BrokerRising Star: Shelly Williams, Clevedon TravelOnline Cruise Agency of the Year: HOOT CruisesGo back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterThe big achievers of the Australasian cruising world have been named at this year’s annual Cruise Industry Awards, the biggest night of the year for the Australian and New Zealand cruise community.Held by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, the gala dinner and awards night attracted more than 500 guests to Sydney’s Star Event Centre on Saturday and helped mark another successful year in the thriving cruise sector. A total of 20 honours were presented in an evening hosted by actor and singer Tim Campbell, including awards for travel agencies and individuals from across both countries.CLIA Australasia Managing Director, Joel Katz, said this year’s awards had been among the most successful of the event’s 18-year history.“We had a record number of submissions this year which made for a heightened level of competition,” Katz said. “It proves that travel agents are more engaged than ever and more dedicated to developing their cruise business, which makes them a key driver of the ongoing growth in the cruise industry.”itravel Carlingford’s Sue Todorovski and Emily KadinskiTop winners on the night included Australia’s Cruise Consultant of the Year, Gail Chapman of Dreamlines Australia, and New Zealand’s Cruise Consultant of the Year, Kiri Martin of YOU Travel Orewa.Phil Hoffmann Travel was named Australia’s Large Cruise Agency of the Year, while helloworld Milford & Browns Bay was chosen as New Zealand’s Large Cruise Agency of the Year. Australia’s Small Cruise Agency of the Year was itravel Carlingford, while New Zealand’s Small Cruise Agency of the Year was tied between House of Travel Kapiti Coast and helloworld Rotorua.CLIA Australasia MD Joel Katz with Hall of Fame inductee, Crystal MD & SVP ANZ, Karen Christensen. A highlight honour was the induction of Crystal Cruises Managing Director & Senior Vice President Australia & New Zealand, Karen Christensen, into the CLIA Hall of Fame, recognising her for more than 30 years in the Australasian cruise industry and her long association with CLIA.