Football: China says Arsenal's Ozil 'deceived by fake news' of Uighur treatment

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil had posted criticism of Beijing's treatment of its Uighur minority. PHOTO: AP

BEIJING (AFP) - China said on Monday (Dec 16) that Arsenal player Mesut Ozil was "deceived by fake news" after he posted criticism of Beijing's treatment of its Uighur minority, and called for him to visit Xinjiang to see for himself.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Ozil's "judgment was influenced by untruthful remarks" and he would be "pleased to see him going to Xinjiang and having a look".

The German player's comments on Twitter on Friday, which also criticised Muslim countries for failing to speak up against the abuses, drew anger online, with some users on Weibo calling for a ban on his games.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday pulled the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City from its programme after his remarks.

The game in London was scheduled to be broadcast live by CCTV's sports channel, according to an earlier schedule published on the league's official Weibo account.

However, by Sunday, it was replaced by a pre-recorded game between Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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