Opinion – Reflections on Ozil’s tweet affecting Arsenal fans in China

Is the beautiful game really what brings the planet together? by Matty Barnes

So yesterday the state TV station in China has pulled broadcasting our game against City, over comments made in Mesut Ozil’s tweet about Uighur Muslims treatment in China……(as you might know Ozil is Muslim and so expressed an opinion about a specific element within his religion via a tweet).

Our club distances themselves from Ozil’s tweet (posted below) and said the views expressed did not reflect those of the club……

Football, and sport in general, is allegedly free from politics and referred to as ‘the beautiful game’ right? China is doing its very best to buy it’s way into the sport and the people of China obviously love the game, which is fantastic news for the expansion of the game internationally.

How small-minded are the state TV of China to take the opinion of one man, which he is totally entitled to have, and punish Arsenal fans in China by removing their viewing pleasure.

It’s ironic I wrote an article about people expressing opinions or arguing on here a few days back and now we see, first hand, what a communist regime does if anyone speaks out against it. I agree our club called it correctly and said the views were not shared by the club because they are a commercial entity, and as such selling shirts and TV rights is the lifeblood of any club.

How lucky we are to live in a country where people are allowed to express themselves without there being such extreme reactions to free speech. I guess that means Ozil’s payday at a Chinese club might not happen too soon….

Matty Barnes

Ozil’s Tweet (The English version)


  1. True he can say whatever he wants. What bothers me is that he is silent about his friend Erdogan who is oppressing people left and right, the Kurds and his own people and acting like a dictator and a real threat to the region. That guy can be his best man and no criticism there. talking about double standard. Also he is being paid 350.000 sterling per week without contributing anything to the team these days and his lazy attitude if pathetic. He was one of my favorite football players before he came to Arsenal, he is far from it today

  2. A lot of “whataboutism’s” can be drawn up when talking about this subject, especially about the person who is delivering the message. I’ll just say I am also happy to not have government censoring to such an extent that China does.

  3. I wonder what the consequences will be to Kroenke`s pocket ?……………if millions of chinese boycott buying into Arsenal FC……………will chinese gooners side with Ozil or be controlled by the state brainwashing ?

  4. Ozil has a right to speak on global issues, if the Chinese government see his views on such subject as been irritating then they had better refrain from such inhumane actions or more Ozils will come after them in a flood or criticism.

    1. Innit exactly, I see nothing wrong in what he says, everyone has a right to stand up for his beliefs so for me he did nothing wrong but if you consider that the same Mesut made an oppressor his best man on his wedding day then I think he shouldn’t be him saying things like that.

  5. The day this leech Ozil has left our club, is three years too long. He has done nothing for this club, except skulk around and bring bad politics to our door. He is two faced, that he is all right having his mate Eudogan killing innocent people and then spout something like he did, that does Arsenal football club no good at all.

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