China Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) games on mobile remove Arsenal’s playmaker, Mesut Ozil. The Chinese publishers of the widely played video game, NetEase announced this yesterday, 18th December 2019.
On Sunday, Chinese broadcasters had not shown the Arsenal game against Manchester City too. These backlashes are as a result of the former German international’s statement about Uighur Muslims treatment in China. Mesut Ozil is a Muslim and has always spoken about his faith in the past. Before games, he is usually seen offering payers with his palms spread upwards.
The Chinese government has been in the news over its treatment of the Muslim minority in the country. We also reported the alleged facial recognition technology that many commenters feel may make it easier to target and maltreat this group further.
On Friday, 13th December 2019, Ozil posted on Instagram in Turkish:
“Qurans are burned, mosques were closed down, Islamic theological schools, madrasas were banned, religious scholars were killed one by one. Despite all this, Muslims stay quiet.”
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The post did not go down well with the concerned authorities. Also, fans of the star and his club, Arsenal, vented in the comments section. China had responded that the midfielder was a victim of false information by the Press, and was welcome to come himself and see the situation on ground firsthand.
However, we are finding out that the statement further raised repercussions. In the most recent one, NetEase has effected the removal of Mesut Ozil from Konami supported mobile games. The first among them is the China PES 2020 mobile version.
In a Weibo post, the PES Chinese publishers said:
“On the evening of December 13, Beijing time, German player Ozil posted an extreme statement about China on social media.
The speech hurt the feelings of Chinese fans and violated the sports spirit of love and peace. We do not understand, accept or forgive this!
From now on, the national service version of “Football”, “Live: Kings Rally” and “Live Club” will no longer produce any “Mesut Ozil” player roles and cards.
In the future, we will announce the further processing plan of the incident, thank you for your understanding and support.”
Arsenal had already separated themselves from the player’s statement as they say they remain politically neutral. Now that China has removed Ozil from PES how will the FIFA game board react?
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