Mesut Özil removed from Chinese edition of Pro Evolution Soccer 2020
The footballer has been removed from the game after he criticised China's treatment of Uighur Muslims.
Arsenal and Germany midfielder Mesut Özil has been removed from the mobile edition of China's version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2020.
The move comes after Özil used his social media platform to highlight China's treatment of its Uighur minority.
Over one million Uighurs alongside other ethnic Muslims are currently being housed in detention camps in western China, with the country referring to these individuals as "trainees", some of whom have eventually "graduated" from the camps.
Özil voiced his support on Twitter and Instagram for "warriors who resist persecution", a display that Arsenal would ultimately distance itself from, noting that the club does not endorse political statements made by its players.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 13, 2019
According to a blog posted by the South China Morning Post, Chinese games publisher NetEase has elected to remove the footballer from PES 2020, citing Özil's "extreme" remarks.
"The German player Ozil posted an extreme statement about China on social media,” NetEase said in a post on micro-blogging website Weibo.
"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."
Konami, the Japanese developer of the long-running Pro Evolution franchise, has yet to issue any official comment on the matter.