Arsenal midfielder, Mesut Ozil will not be in China’s version of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 video game. The player had criticized China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.
Ozil, the Arsenal midfielder, called Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution.”
As a practicing Muslim of Turkish descent, Ozil commented on China’s treatment of Muslim minorities in the Western region of Xinjiang in a tweet.
Additionally, he criticized Muslim countries for failing to speak up about the alleged abuses.
The player had tweeted in Turkish, “Korans are being burnt, mosques shut down, Muslims schools are banned, religious scholars are killed one by one, brothers are forcefully sent to camps. The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard.”
Nonetheless, Arsenal distanced themselves from his comments. But then, China made its response. The country said they were “untruthful” tweets and “fake news deceived him.”
On the other hand, NetEase, which published the PES franchise in China said the player had been removed from three existing titles in the country.
In a statement, NetEase said, “The German player, Ozil posted an extreme statement about China on social media.”
“The speech hurt the feelings of Chinese fans and violated the sports spirit of love and peace. We do not understand, accept or forgive this.”
USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo has, however, came out in support of Ozil in his war of words with China.
Pompeo on Tuesday tweeted, “China’s Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor Mesut Ozil and Arsenal games all season long. But the truth will prevail.”
“The CCP can’t hide its gross human rights violations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world.”