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Fans held up mysterious Özil posters during Germany's clash with Spain

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

Spectators held up mysterious posters of a winking Mesut Özil during Germany's 1-1 draw with Spain.
Mesut Özil.
Mesut Özil.Photo: Granada, CC-by-SA 4.0
During Sunday's 1-1 draw between Germany and Spain at the World Cup, fans were seen holding up pictures showing a winking Mesut Özil. In addition, some of the spectators covered their mouths.

In doing so, they were probably alluding to the gesture made by Germany before their World Cup opening game against Japan. The German players covered their mouths in their team photo, criticizing FIFA's decision to ban the OneLove armband at the World Cup.

Exactly why spectators held up pictures of the former German international is unclear, but it's likely that it was a way of criticizing the DFB's handling of Mesut Özil's retirement from the German national team.

Bild spoke to a Bangladeshi worker at the stadium, who claimed (via @iMiaSanMia):

"When we got to our block, the posters were on the seats. A Qatari came and showed us what to do with it: 'hold it up and close your mouth'. So that's what we did. I don't know what the posters meant."

Özil retired from the German national team in 2018, accusing the German Football Association of "racism and disrespect".

"I'm German when I win and an immigrant when I lose," Özil stated at the time.

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