Mesut Ozil is permanently blacklisted in China because TV commentators didn’t mention him in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United last week.
The 31-year-old was criticized by the country after drawing attention to the plight of the Uyghur Muslims in the Far East.
Mesut Ozil, right, appears to have been blacklisted by China
PPTV, which broadcasts all Premier League games in China, even stopped playing with the Gunners during Christmas.
However, they resumed their usual service after the festive period ended, but have since refused to recognize Ozil, the Times reports.
The streaming channel commentators never mentioned his name during the New Year conflict in the Emirates, even if they ran through the team lineups before kick-off.
There are persistent supporters of the game in China who believe that this ban will never be lifted from Ozil.
Jokes have appeared on the fan forums that say that Ozil is no longer available – a reference to the Google error message 404, which is displayed when a website is no longer available.
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The state television broadcaster CCTV has not shown an Arsenal game since the harsh criticism from Ozil on December 13.
A Beijing-based expert on Chinese football, who did not want to be named, told The Times: “As a commercial money-maker, PP Sports must balance its commercial interests and political risks.
“So they chose what they thought was the best strategy: continuing to broadcast Arsenal games in a reserved manner, ignoring Ozil.”