Iranian-born German soccer player Ashkan Dejagah was permanently suspended from the national team after refusing to come and play against Israel in the Under-21 European Championship qualifying match set for Friday.
President of the German Football Association Theo Zwanziger made the announcement Thursday morning in a meeting with Israeli Football Association Chairman Avi Luzon. Zwanziger told Luzon that the association "will not let this slide; he (Dejagah) will be taken care of and suspended".
Luzon commented on the news of the suspension, saying, "In my talk with the chairman of the German association, he told me that they have decided to suspend him (Dejagah). The Germans showed up with quite a large delegation because they really wanted to show that Germany's visit to Israel was of great importance.
"The president of the German association invited me for a visit in Germany under the assumption that we won't be drawn to play (against them) in the World Cup's qualifiers. So if we are not drawn in the same group, we will hold a friendly match between the two teams."
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff addressed the issue at a press conference. "We want the players to identify with the team and its values," Bierhoff said, "and if they do not, there is not room for such a player on the team."
However Dejagah's team Wolfsburg, has denied reports that it also planned to suspend him.