In the wake of comments made by Arsenal player Mesut Özil, China’s Chinese Central Television (CCTV) has pulled the Arsenal-Manchester City game from airing, according to ESPN.
Earlier this week, Özil posted a lengthy statement on Instagram which reads, “East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion. They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men. But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?”
Arsenal has not supported Özil, instead, saying, “The content he expressed is entirely Özil’s personal opinion,” early Saturday. “As a football club, Arsenal always adheres to the principle of not being involved in politics.”
The situation is similar to Daryl Morey and the NBA. Morey criticized China in a series of tweets in October and hurt the NBA’s relationship with the country.
The television show South Park was also banned from China after criticizing the incident shortly after.