India’s tennis star Sania Mirza has backed footballer Mesut Ozil, who recently quit the German national team due to “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish roots.

Ozil was criticised after being photographed with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an event in London in May. The midfielder said he was mistreated by the German football federation after his meeting with Erdogan.

After his retirement from international football, Ozil received support from fans and several sports stars across the world.

Now, Sania too has supported him stating that it was “the saddest thing” to read as an athlete.

"This is the saddest thing to read as an athlete, and more importantly as a human being  .. you are right about one thing @MesutOzil1088 racism should not and will not be accepted under any circumstance.. sad if all this is true (sic)," she wrote in reply to Ozil's tweet.

Ozil, while announcing his decision to give up the German jersey, had written on Twitter, “For me, having a picture with president Erdogan wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country.”

"My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt. I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten," the Arsenal player had written.