China pulls soccer match broadcast after player's criticism
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China pulled a soccer match from its state broadcaster after a player criticized the country’s treatment of Uighur Muslims, Sky News reported Sunday.

China’s broadcasting station CCTV 5 did not show the Arsenal-Manchester City soccer match after Arsenal’s midfielder Mesuit Özil posted on Twitter and Instagram, condemning China for its policies on Uighur Muslims. 

The Global Times, the country’s English newspaper, said the match would not be shown because Özil “disappointed fans and football governing authorities,” according to Sky News. Instead, the channel showed the Tottenham Hotspur-Wolverhampton Wanderers game that occurred earlier Sunday.


Özil, a practicing Muslim of Turkish descent, posted that Uighurs were “warriors who resist persecution.” 

“(In China) 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,” he posted, according to Reuters.

Arsenal attempted to distance itself from its player’s remarks in a Saturday statement on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.

“The content he expressed is entirely Özil’s personal opinion,” Arsenal’s account said. “As a football club, Arsenal always adheres to the principle of not being involved in politics.”

The game took place at 4 p.m. in the U.K., which was midnight in China. Manchester City won 3-0.