Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Pro Evolution Soccer Removes Mesut Özil Over China Criticism

Following his criticism of China treatment of Uighur Muslims, Arsenal star Mesut Özil is removed from Pro Evolution Soccer 2020.

In a latest controversy regarding China, professional soccer player of Turkish-German origin and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil is removed from popular football simulation game Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 for his criticism of the country.

After he publicly called out Chinese government for their treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang on his personal social media accounts recently, his character likeness has been taken away from three versions of PES 2020 in China.

mesut ozil arsenal midfielder removed pro evolution soccer 2020 china criticism net ease
Pro Evolution Soccer Removes Mesut Özil Over China Criticism

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According to a United Nations report, China is currently detaining more than one million Muslims within internment camps at Xinjiang region, which Özil has taken stance against through his Instagram and Twitter posts.

According to an expert, Özil's statement could cause Premier League clubs to lose millions in revenue for broadcast deals and sponsorship from Chinese market, which is another example of Chinese censorship affecting Western entertainment media.

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Özil posted a poem on his Twitter account where he spoke out against China and their treatment to Muslism of Uighurs.


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Foreign ministry of China has debunked his claims saying, the former Germany player has been blinded and mislead by media. Afterwards, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV pulled out live coverage of a match between Arsenal and Manchester City.

Chinese company NetEase is the series publisher in Chinese market and they stated to remove the character of known Arsenal star from all three existing titles including PES 2020 Mobile for their region following his outspoken statement.

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In response to his harsh criticism, NetEase has posted their comments on Chinese social media site Weibo.

The 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.

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Last year, developer/publisher Ubisoft made change to blood spatters, slot machines and others aspects of tactical shooter title Rainbow Six Siege in order to comply with Chinese regulations but reverses all changes after community backlash.

Most recently, Blizzard Entertainment has banned eSports player and Hearthstone champion Blitzchung for a year when decided to stand up in solidarity with protestors of Hong Kong and show his support in an official stream in October 2019.

mesut ozil player removed pes 2020 chinese version net ease
Mesut Özil Removed From PES in China

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Earlier this year, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has Tweeted out his support for Hong Kong protestors and was forced to delete his post shortly afterwards when it has strained relationship between China and NBA.

To appease Chinese Football Association and do damage control to minimize further financial blow, Arsenal has since distanced themselves from his extreme personal comments and claimed to be "always apolitical" as a club.

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So far, original series publisher Konami has yet to make any comment over removal of Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil from Pro Evolution Soccer 2020. It is very much likely for them to sit this one down and let NetEase do what they want to.

Pro Evolution Soccer has just renewed their license agreement lately with well-known Premier League clubs to continue their long-running partnership on PES series with plans to largely focus on eFootball Pro tournaments online.