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Arsenal distances itself from Özil's China views

Arsenal distances itself from Mesut Özil's political comment

December 13, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The London club has dissociated itself from comments made by the former German international with regards to the persecution of Muslims in China

Arsenal Football Club has distanced itself from comments made by midfielder Mesut Özil highlighting the persecution of Muslims in China. The 31-year-old German midfielder has spoken out strongly against the Asian country's harassment of the Uighur population in its north-western region, criticizing Muslims for not doing more to address the issue.

On Friday, the former German international took to his Instagram page to criticize the treatment being handed to the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in Xinjiang, China, that has sparked international umbrage. Being approximately 10 million in population, there have been reports that more than a million have been held in detention camps in recent times.

Adding his voice to campaign against the religious and ethnic persecution by the Chinese authorities, Özil's Instagram message read: "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?"

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A post shared by Mesut Özil (@m10_official) on

In light of this, Arsenal has issued a statement in response to Mesut Ozil's misgivings, citing that the club has no association with its player's personal sentiments. With the Emirates outfit having multiple commercial interest in China, it sought to manage any imminent crisis which may have been triggered by the former German internal's views.

"Regarding the comments made by Mesut Özil on social media, Arsenal must make a clear statement," it declared according to the Guardian.

"The content published is Özil's personal opinion. As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics."

Mesut Özil's being at the center social and political controversies is nothing anew as back in 2018, he was widely slammed for posing for a photograph with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latter subsequently became the best man at the former Real Madrid star's wedding.

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