Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday pulled from its schedule Arsenal’s English Premier League match against Manchester City.
The match was scheduled to be broadcast live on CCTV’s sports channel, however it was replaced with a pre-recorded game between Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“Qurans are being burnt. Mosques are being shut down. Muslim schools are being banned. Religious scholars are being killed. Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps,” Özil in Turkish on Twitter and Instagram.
“The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard,” he wrote on a background of a blue field with a white crescent moon, the flag of what Uighur separatists call East Turkestan.
Arsenal distances itself from Özil’s comments
About 1 million Uighurs and other minorities have been detained in high-security camps, according to human-rights activists and the United Nations.
China initially denied the camps existed, but now describes them as vocational schools aimed at dampening the allure of Islamist extremism and violence.
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) said Özil’s comments were “unacceptable” and “hurt the feelings” of Chinese supporters.
“Ozil’s comments are undoubtedly hurtful to the Chinese fans who closely follow him, and at the same time his comments also hurt the feelings of Chinese people. This is something we cannot accept,” government-backed news outlet, The Paper, reported, citing an unnamed CFA official.
Arsenal said Oezil’s comments were his personal opinion and that the club kept out of politics.
kw,XX (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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