China state broadcaster CCTV has removed the screening of the game between Arsenal and Manchester City in the Premier League following Mesut Ozil’s criticism of China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.
The Arsenal midfielder, who is also a Muslim, on Friday, criticised the communist state on social media over the treatment of Uighurs who he described as “warriors who resist persecution.”
Arsenal swiftly issued a statement to distance itself from Ozil’s statement saying it was “always apolitical as an organisation”.
State backed medium, The Global Times, described Ozil’s comments as “false” and claimed he had “disappointed” football authorities.
In addition, the Chinese Football Association said Ozil’s comments were “unacceptable” and had “hurt the feelings” of Chinese fans.
CCTV will now show Sunday’s game between Tottenham and Wolves, instead of a live broadcast of Arsenal’s home match with the defending champions which was initially on its broadcast schedule.