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Arsenal vs. Manchester City has been pulled from Chinese TV after Mesut Ozil's criticism about the treatment of the Uighur minority in China.
Ozil spoke out strongly against China's persecution of the Muslim Uighur community of Xinjiang and slammed Muslims for not doing more to highlight the issue.
China's State-run CCTV removed @Arsenal's Sunday match against @ManCity from its broadcast schedule, after Arsenal star @MesutOzil1088's false comments on Xinjiang disappointed Chinese fans and football governing authorities. Online broadcaster PPTV may also stop airing the game. pic.twitter.com/Ly1WQtcqGg- Global Times (@globaltimesnews) December 15, 2019
The German, who's a Muslim, has voiced his concerns about the treatment of the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority who have been subjected to a campaign of religious and ethnic persecution by the Chinese authorities.
Arsenal have since released a statement, distancing themselves from Ozil's comments.
"Regarding the comments made by Mesut Ozil on social media, Arsenal must make a clear statement," the statement read. "The content published is Ozil's personal opinion. As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics."
Ozil's post had listed a few issues facing Uighurs in China while accusing Muslims of staying silent on the matter.
"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, who are ninth in the table, entertain third place City in a Premier League clash on Sunday.
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