Joachim Low has hit out at Germany fans for again booing midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
Manchester City playmaker Gundogan was jeered by supporters during last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Austria following his meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Whistles rained down once more in Leverkusen on Friday when Gundogan came on as a second-half substitute during the 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia, despite Low gesturing for the masses to applaud.
Mesut Ozil, also of Turkish descent, made the visit with Gundogan for a photo opportunity with Erdogan, who is the subject of criticism from human rights groups and exiled Turkish citizens over his government’s alleged systematic arrest of journalists, civil rights activists and political opponents.
Arsenal star Ozil did not feature against Saudi Arabia but Low is keen to close the issue with Germany’s World Cup defence to begin in nine days against Mexico.
“He’s a member of the national team,” Low said, speaking to ARD about Gundogan.
“That [booing] doesn’t help anyone.”
PENALTY to Saudi Arabia. @SamiKhedira penalised for a trip in the box.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 8, 2018
Timo Werner opened the scoring after eight minutes and Omar Othman’s own goal ultimately proved decisive, but there were some nervy moments for Germany as Taiseer Aljassam reduced the arrears late on.
“We were really open in defence and allowed many counter-attacks from Saudi Arabia,” Low said after ending a winless run of five matches in friendlies.
At a post-match news conference, he added: “We will continue to improve and when the tournament starts, we will be there.
“I think we started well. We had good runs in the first half. Then we let up in the second half.
“We have given away a lot of chances. In the end, we even had a bit of luck. Next week we will be more lively and dynamic.”
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