Germany & Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been deleted from the Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 game in China after his comments against ‘Muslim Oppression’. Ozil is known to highlight issues of racism, religion and other social issues that often land him in controversies.
US-listed Chinese internet company NetEase said it removed Ozil from the game due to his “extreme comment about China.” Ozil, a German national of Turkish origin, condemned China’s crackdown on Muslim minorities in the western region of Xinjiang in a tweet last Friday and criticized Muslim countries for failing to speak up about the alleged abuses. Arsenal has distanced themselves from his comments, while China said his tweets were “untruthful” and that he was “deceived by fake news”.
Ozil had tweeted in Turkish: “Korans are being burnt… Mosques are being shut down… Muslim schools are being banned… Religious scholars are being killed one by one… Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps. “The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard.” Shortly afterward, NetEase announced on its verified Chinese social media accounts Ozil’s comments had “hurt the feelings of Chinese fans and violated the sport’s spirit of love and peace. We do not understand, accept or forgive this comment.”
USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo has come out in support of Ozil in his war of words with China. Pompeo tweeted on Tuesday: “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.”
Ozil has been controversy’s favourite child in recent months. Although the fans would love to see him get back to his best on the field soon.