Green Party co-chairman Robert Habeck has weighed in on the debate surrounding Mesut Özil's retirement from the German national football team, saying that interior minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) must shoulder some of the blame.
Habeck said that Seehofer, who is also minister for sport, had alienated Muslim German football players with his past comments about Islam's place in German society.
"When the sports minister says that Islam does not belong to Germany, then that should be taken as a clear rejection of Muslim players," Habeck told the Rheinische Post newspaper.
"The signal that sends out to people of different backgrounds is fatal," Habeck continued. "It gives them the feeling that they are ostracized and stigmatized in this country."