It’s been plainly obvious for years that those in charge of football have chosen money over everything else, especially morality, so there was always going to come a point where they would be forced to make a choice.
The BBC reported that China refused to broadcast yesterday’s game between Arsenal and Man City after Mesut Ozil made comments criticising China for their policies and treatment towards Uighur Muslims.
The report goes on to say that Arsenal have distanced themselves from his comments while to the shock of absolutely nobody, China’s state media has come out and said his comments are false.
READ MORE: Report indicates Mesut Ozil has damaged relations with Premier League’s most lucrative TV market
It seems the Premier League makes a lot of money from TV deals and commercial rights in China, so this could be a fascinating choice. They can decide to make a stand and act in support of the people who’s lives are allegedly being affected in China, or they can sweep it under the rug and keep taking that money.
A look at Twitter and the reactions to the BBC report do show there’s plenty of support for the Arsenal man on this one:
Ozil did nothing wrong. The world stands with Ozil. #StandwithUyghurs
— (What’s the story) Morning glory? (@OASISFAN314) December 15, 2019
Arsenal: Money > Morals. Well done Mesut.
— Ashley John Ó Gallchobhair ???? (@Bash_luiz) December 15, 2019
Respect to Mesut Özil. He’s so brave to speak up against human right abuses. Freedom loving people across the world cannot stay silent on CCP dictatorship anymore. #StandwithUyghurs #StandWithOzil #AntiTotalitarianism
— Jojojoanne (@jojojoanneriver) December 15, 2019
…China is trying to intervene in politics all over the world…it is a brutal dictatorship! Well done Mezut Özil !
— Håkan Danielsson (@ftj033) December 15, 2019
We all did, #MesutOzil speaks not only for the obliterated but for all persons wanting the right to just exist in this messed up cauldron of hate, we call earth.
— Robertsyson (@Sysonator) December 15, 2019
Well done @MesutOzil1088 for speaking up. I was oblivious to what was going on until your tweet, so your message has raised awarenesses Shame the club felt the need to distance themselves from your comments.
— Super Thom (@supersuperthom) December 15, 2019
This is huge. So much respect for @MesutOzil1088 for doing, risking his career but the cause is huge. World leaders need to step up especially the idle Muslim leaders around the world.
— Aks (@Gorilla_Gut) December 15, 2019
With so much money to be made from countries like China and the whole situation surrounding the World Cup being held in Qatar, it’s clear that money is the priority for those at the top. The real fear for many might come in the fan reaction to players like Ozil highlighting these kind of issues.
If football is seen to support such abhorrent regimes then they might keep making money from them, but support from those in more civilised countries might start to disappear.