German FA official and former Bayern Munich star Oliver Bierhoff has revealed that the Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil controversy could affect Joachim Low’s team selection.
The Premier League duo have been involved in a row regarding a photo they had taken with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.
Gundogan was booed by Germany fans during their 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia on Friday evening. Mesut Ozil missed the game due to a knee injury he picked up last week.
Bierhoff has stated that the latest controversy surrounding Ozil and Gundogan could influence Low’s team selection.
“Jogi [Low] does not make any populist decisions just to satisfy someone, he rather looks at the sporting side of things,” Bierhoff told Bild
“But [the scandal] could as well be a small aspect [in the decision-making process].”
Ozil is expected to be fit for Germany’s opening World Cup 2018 game despite his knee injury. The 29-year-old also missed the final weeks of Arsenal’s season due to a back injury.
Gundogan meanwhile played a starring role for Man City during their title-winning season. The former Dortmund star established himself as a first-team regular in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven.