Germany striker Ashkan Dejagah has pulled out of the national Under 21 squad to play Israel on Friday for political reasons.
The Iranian-born star, who grew up in Berlin, told coach Dieter Eilts that he did not want to make the trip to the Middle East due to the ongoing tension between Israel and Iran.
"I have more Iranian blood than German blood in my veins and people just have to accept that," the Wolfsburg striker told BZ.
"And besides I am doing it out of respect - my parents are Iranian after all."
Eilts said he accepted the striker's decision but Germany president Theo Zwanziger was far from happy with Dejagah's move.
"We can't accept players deciding not to play in matches as a result of their world-view or religion," Zwanziger told Bild.
"We are not forcing anyone to play for Germany. Every player wearing our shirt must identify himself with our country and its values, otherwise we will have to make do without him in the squad."