Arsenal player Mesut Özil pulled from PES 2020 in China

Arsenal player Mesut Özil pulled from PES 2020 in China

Mesut Özil of UK football club Arsenal has been removed from the Chinese version of Konami's PES 2020. Sorry, eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020.

That's according to The BBC, which reports that local publisher NetEase has pulled the athlete following statements made by Özil on social media about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China.

Özil posted on Instagram decrying the use of concentration camps - sorry - reeducation camps in Xinjiang province, in which millions of Uighur Muslims are being held. This has led to anger against the footballer from Chinese fans.

"The German player Özil posted an extreme statement about China on social media," NetEase said in a statement.

"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."

Meanwhile, China's foreign ministry has said that Özil has been "deceived by fake news" on the topic of Uighur Muslims. China has long denied that this ethnic group has been treated as Özil described, saying that they are being re-educated.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.