Soccer and Politics. Mesut Özil is Banned in China
European soccer news. There was an unpleasant scandal connected with a political dissident. The Arsenal footballer Mesut Özil received criticism from his fans. This is not the first time in his career when fans and the club have been scolding their idol.
At the age of 31, for a German of Turkish descent, this month and season turned out to be not the best far from his best conditions. He did not score a single goal and gave only one goal pass; poor team performance, defeat from main rivals Manchester City and Manchester United. All these affected a bad mood.
Turning to the essence of the topic, one of the most powerful countries in the world, China, hit the midfielder. The reason was that before the Arsenal ‒ Manchester City match, Mesut Özil decided to pay attention and criticize the oppression of the Uyghur people in China.
Uyghurs are Muslim people of Turkic origin and are a minority, living for centuries in China, most of them are located in Xinjiang province, in recent years they have been massively and often subjected to unreasonable arrests, punished for using their native language and other things. There is so little information, as China hides details.
The Özil soccer tweet you can read here.
Briefly about the tweet: “They (China) burn the Koran, close mosques and schools, and kill religious figures. Men are sent to camps whose purpose is to try to distance them from religion. But Muslims are silent. They do not make noise. They left them. Don’t they know that allowing persecution is persecution?”
The football team immediately rushed to take neutrality from the statements of Özil and emphasized that this was his personal opinion, not related to the position of the club. Since the club has always tried to avoid politics. The episode where the German was booed by the fans and kicked the gloves since he did not agree with the substitution in the match Arsenal – Manchester City added some fire to the heated relationship between the club and the player.
China is one of the greatest civilizations, dynamically developing country of the world. But different protests take place, the country reacts sharply to diverse criticisms in its direction. Therefore, as a result of Özil’s statements, the Chinese national TV refused to broadcast the match against Manchester City, instead, they showed a recording of another match. The accounts of the German and his Chinese fan club were blocked in China. Also, his profile was removed from the video game PES 2020 Mobile. Speaking of Chinese fans, they posted on the social network a photo of burning the shirts of the football player, signed with the word “Disappointment”.
At the same time, Özil became a hostage of false information and it was suggested that the footballer visit Xinjiang and see for himself that everything is good there and that the persecution of Muslims and the infringement of the Uyghur people is fake news.
We also want to remind you that earlier there was another case where a football player was discussed because of politics. The scandal took place in the spring of 2018 before the World Cup in Russia, which was completed by the departure of Mesut from the German national team. There the midfielder took a picture in London with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and posted a photo on the social network, where he signed “My President”. This caused a strong reaction among many residents of Germany and Turkish migrants.
Many people continue to say that big sport and politics are incompatible. It’s true. But some countries and their inhabitants abandon this principle and make a sport destructive. But sport should bring nations together through competition, and not fuel controversy.