Farewell with anger between Arsenal and Mesut Özil. The London club excluded the German midfielder of Turkish origin from the roster after 8 seasons, 184 matches, 33 goals and 54 assists.
Technical choice, said coach Mikel Arteta. Unfair decision inspired by political and commercial convenience, said the player. Accusations and suspicions intertwine around the end of a football love between London and Hong Kong, passing through the troubled Xinjiang and Beijing.
Mesut Özil feels betrayed: the leaders of the Gunners “do not know loyalty. I will continue to use my voice for justice and against inhumanity”. In Hong Kong, the dissident Joshua Wong commented: “Arsenal excluded Özil because he sided in support of the Uighurs detained in the camps in Xinjiang”. Arsenal, very interested like all European clubs in the Chinese market and its profitability, would have taken out German-Turkish to please Beijing.
Last December, Ozil, who is Muslim, released a social media post calling Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution” and criticising both China and the silence of Muslims in response. Arsenal distanced themselves from midfielder Ozil’s comments, saying the club is “always apolitical as an organisation”.